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Full text of "The complete poetical works of Robert Burns"















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PRESENTED BY ' ] 



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Robert Burns, 



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THE 



COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 



OF 

ROBERT BURNS 



WITH BIOGRAPHICAL INTRODUCTION, NOTES 
AND GLOSSARY 



The simple Bard, unbroke by rules of Art, 

He pours the wild effusions of the heart ; 

And if inspir'd, 't is Nature's pow'rs inspire, 

Hers all the melting thrill, and hers the kindling fire." 

On title-page of Kilmarnock Edition^ ijSb. 



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NEW YORK 

THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO. 

PUBLISHERS 



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Copyright, igeo, 
By THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO. 






CONTENTS 



>>^< 



Page 

Biographical Sketch xi 

Published at Kilmarnock, 1786: — 

The Twa Dogs r 

Scotch Drink 4 

The Author's Earnest Cry and 

Prayer 7 

The Holy Fair .10 

Address to the Deil 13 

The Death and Dying Words of 

Poor Maihe 15 

Poor Mailie's Elegy ..... 16 

Epistle to James Smith .... 17 

A Dream 20 

The Vision 22 

Halloween 28 

The Auld Farmer's New Year 

Morning Salutation to his Auld 

Mare, Maggie 31 

The Cotter's Saturday Night . . 33 

To a Mouse 37 

Epistle to Davie, a Brother Poet . 38 

The Lament 40 

Despondency 42 

Man was made to Mourn .... 43 

Winter 44 

A Prayer in the Prospect of Death 45 

To a Mountain Daisy 45 

To Ruin 46 

Epistle to a Young Friend ... 47 

On a Scotch Bard 48 

A Dedication to Gavin Hamilton, 

Esq 49 

To a Louse 51 

Epistle to J. Lapraik 52 

Second Epistle to J. Lapraik . . 54 

To William Simpson of Ochiltree, 56 

Epistle to John Rankine .... 59 

Song : Tune, ' Corn Rigs ' ... 60 

Composed in August . . 61 

From thee Eliza .... 62 



Page 

The Farewell 62 

Epitaph on a Henpecked Squire . 63 

Epigram on Said Occasion ... 63 

Another 63 

Epitaph : On a Celebrated Ruling 

Elder 63 

On a Noisy Polemic . . 63 

On Wee Johnie ... 63 

For the Author's Father, 64 
For Robert Aiken, 

Esq 64 

For Gavin Hamilton, 

Esq 64 

A Bard's 64 

Added in 1787: — 

Death and Doctor Hornbook . . 65 

The Brigs of Ayr 68 

The Ordination 73 

The Calf 75 

Address to the Unco Guid ... 75 

Tam Samson's Elegy 76 

A Winter Night 78 

Stanzas in Prospect of Death . . 80 

Prayer : O thou Dread Power . . 80 

Paraphrase of the First Psalm . . 81 
Prayer under the Pressure of 

Violent Anguish 81 

Ninetieth Psalm Versified ... 82 

To Miss Logan 82 

Address to a Haggis 83 

Address to Edinburgh 83 

Song : John Barleycorn .... 85 
A Fragment: When Guil- 
ford Good 86 

My Nanie, O 87 

Green grow the Rashes, O, 88 

Composed in Spring ... 88 
The Gloomy Night is 

gathering fast .... 89 

No Churchman am I , . 89 



111 



iv 



CONTENTS. 



Page 
Added in 1793: — 

Written in Friars Carse Hermi- 
tage 91 

Ode sacred to the Memory of 

Mrs. Oswald o 91 

Elegy on Captain Matthew Hen- 
derson 92 

Lament of Mary Queen of Scots . 94 
To Robert Graham of Fintry, Esq. 95 
Lament for James, Earl of Glen- 
cairn o . 97 

Lines to Sir John Whitefoord, 

Bart 98 

Tam O'Shanter 99 

On seeing a Wounded Hare . . 102 
Address to the Shade of Thomson, 103 
On the Late Captain Grose's Pere- 
grinations thro' Scotland . . . 103 
To Miss Cruickshank .... 104 

Song: Anna 105 

On the Death of John M'Leod, 

Esq 105 

The Humble Petition of Bruar 

Water 105 

On scaring Some Water-fowl in 

Loch Turit 107 

Verses written with a Pencil at 

Taymouth 107 

Lines on the Fall of Fyers . . . 108 
On the Birth of a Posthumous 

Child 108 

The Whistle 109 

The Jolly Beggars: a Cantata . iii 
Satires and Verses 
The Twa Herds : or, the Holy 

Tulyie 117 

Holy Willie's Prayer 119 

The Kirk's Alarm 120 

A Poet's Welcome to his Love- 
begotten Daughter 123 

The Inventory 124 

A Mauchline Wedding .... 125 

Adam Armour's Prayer .... 126 

The Court of Equity 126 

Nature's Law 128 

Lines on meeting with Lord Daer, 129 
Address to the Toothache . . . 129 
Lament for the Absence of Will- 
iam Creech . . o . . . . 130 
Verses in Friars Carse Hermitage, 131 



Page 

Elegy on the Departed Year 1788, 132 

Castle Gordon 132 

On the Duchess of Gordon's Reel 

Dancing 133 

On Captain Grose 133 

New Year's Day, 1791 .... 134 

From Esopus to Maria .... 135 

Notes and Epistles 

To John Rankine 136 

To John Goldie 137 

To J. Lapraik : Third Epistle . 138 

To the Rev. John M'Math . . 139 

To Davie : Second Epistle . . . 140 

To John Kennedy 141 

To Gavin Hamilton, Esq. . . . 142 
To Mr. M'Adam of Craigen- 

Gillan 142 

Reply to an Invitation .... 143 

To Dr. Mackenzie 143 

To John Kennedy : a Farewell . 143 

To Willie Chalmers' Sweetheart . 144 

To an Old Sweetheart .... 144 

Extempore to Gavin Hamilton . 145 
Reply to a Trimming Epistle from 

a Tailor 146 

To Major Logan 147 

To the Guidwife of Wauchope 

House 148 

To Wm. Tytler, Esq., of Wood- 

houselee 149 

To Mr. Renton of Lamerton . . 150 

To Miss Isabella Macleod . . . 150 

To Symon Gray 151 

To Miss Ferrier 151 

Sylvander to Clarinda .... 152 
To Clarinda with a Pair of Wine- 

Glasses 152 

To Hugh Parker 153 

To Alex. Cunningham .... 153 

To Robert Graham, Esq., of Fintry, 154 

Impromptu to Captain Riddell . 156 
Reply to a Note from Captain 

Riddell 156 

To James Tennant of Glenconner, 156 

To John M'Murdo 157 

Sonnet to Robert Graham, Esq., 

of Fintry 158 

To Dr. Blacklock 158 

To a Gentleman who had sent a 

Newspaper 159 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

To Peter Stuart i6o 

To John Maxwell, Esq., of Ter- 

raughtie i6o 

To William Stewart i6i 

Inscription to Miss Graham of 

Fintry i6i 

Remorseful Apology i6i 

To Collector Mitchell i6i 

To Colonel De Peyster .... 162 

To Miss Jessie Lewars .... 163 

Inscription to Chloris 163 

Theatrical Pieces 
Prologue spoken by Mr. Woods, 164 
Prologue spoken at the Theatre 

of Dumfries 165 

Scots Prologue for Mrs. Suther- 
land 166 

The Rights of Woman .... 167 
Address spoken by Miss Fonte- 
nelle 168 

Political Pieces 

Address of Beelzebub 169 

Birthday Ode for 31st December, 

1787 170 

Ode to the Departed Regency Bill, 171 
A New Psalm for the Chapel of 

Kilmarnock 172 

Inscribed to the Right Hon. C. J. 

Fox 173 

On Glenriddell's Fox breaking 

his Chain 174 

On the Commemoration of Rod- 
ney's Victory 175 

Ode for General Washington's 

Birthday 175 

The F^te Champetre 177 

The Five Carlins 178 

Election Ballad for Westerha* . . 179 
Turn-coat Whigs awa, Man . . 180 
Election Ballad addressed to Rob- 
ert Graham, Esq., of Fintry . . 180 
Ballads on Mr, Heron's Election, 

1795 : 

Ballad First 183 

Ballad Second : the Election . 184 
Ballad Third: John Bushby's 

Lamentation 185 

Ballad Fourth : the Trogger . 186 

The Dean of the Faculty ... 187 



Page 



Miscellanies 

The Tarbolton Lasses .... 188 

The Ronalds of the Bennals . . 189 

I'll go and be a Sodger .... 190 

Apostrophe to Fergusson . . . 190 

The Belles of Mauchline . . . 190 

Ah, Woe is me, my Mother Dear . 191 
Inscribed on a Work of Hannah 

More's 191 

Lines written on a Bank Note. . 191 

The Farewell 192 

Elegy on the Death of Robert 

Ruisseaux 192 

Verses intended to be written be- 
low a Noble Earl's Picture . . 192 
Elegy on the Death of Sir James 

Hunter Blair 193 

On the Death of Lord President 

Dundas 194 

Elegy on Willie Nicol's Mare . . 195 

Lines on Fergusson 195 

Elegy on the late Miss Burnet of 

Monboddo 196 

Pegasus at Wanlockhead . . . 196 
On Some ' Commemorations of 

Thomson 197 

On General Dumourier's Deser- 
tion 197 

On John M'Murdo 198 

On hearing a Thrush sing in a 

Morning Walk in January . . 198 
Impromptu on Mrs. Riddell's 

Birthday 198 

Sonnet on the Death of Robert 

Riddell of Glenriddell .... 199 

A Sonnet upon Sonnets .... 199 

Grizzel Grimme 199 

Fragments 

Tragic Fragment 201 

Remorse 201 

Rusticity's Ungainly Form . , . 202 

On William Creech 202 

On William Smellie 202 

Sketch for an Elegy 202 

Passion's Cry . 203 

In vain would Prudence .... 204 

The Cares o* Love 204 



Epigrams 
Extempore in the Court of Session, 



204 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

At Roslin Inn 204 

To an Artist 205 

The Book-worms 205 

On Elphinstone's Translation of 

Martial 205 

On Johnson's Opinion of Hamp- 
den 205 

Under the Portrait of Miss Burns . 205 

On Miss Ainslie in Church . . . 205 

At Inveraray ........ 205 

At Carron Ironworks 206 

On seeing the Royal Palace at 

Stirling in Ruins 206 

Additional Lines at Stirling . . 206 
Reply to the Threat of a Censori- 
ous Critic 206 

A Highland Welcome .... 206 

At Whigham's Inn, Sanquhar. . 207 

Versicles on Sign-posts .... 207 

On Miss Jean Scott 207 

On Captain Francis Grose . . 207 
On being appointed to an Excise 

Division 207 

On Miss Davies 208 

On a Beautiful Country Seat . . 208 

The Tyrant Wife 208 

At Brownhill Inn 208 

The Toadeater 208 

In Lamington Kirk 208 

The Keekin Glass 209 

At the Globe Tavern, Dumfries . 209 

Ye True Loyal Natives .... 209 

On Commissary Goldie's Brains . 209 

In a I^ady's Pocket-book . . . 210 

Against the Earl of Galloway . . 210 

On the Same 210 

On the Same 210 

On the Same, on the Author being 

threatened with Vengeance . . 210 

On the Laird of Laggan .... 210 

On Maria Riddell 210 

On Miss Fontenelle 210 

Kirk and State Excisemen . . . 211 
On Thanksgiving for a National 

Victory 211 

Pinned to Mrs. Walter Riddell's 

Carriage 211 

To Dr. Maxwell 211 

To the Beautiful Miss Eliza 

J n 211 

On Chloris 211 



Page 
To the Hon. Wm. R. Maule of 

Panmure 212 

On seeing Mrs. Kemble in Yarico, 212 

On Dr. Babington's Looks . . . 212 

On Andrew Turner 212 

The Solemn League and Cove- 
nant 212 

To John Syme of Ryedale . . . 212 

On a Goblet 212 

Apology to John Syme . , . 213 

On Mr. James Gracie .... 213 

At Friars Carse Hermitage . . . 213 

For an Altar of Independence . . 213 

Versicles to Jessie Lewars . . . 213 

On Marriage 214 

Graces 

A Poet's Grace 214 

At the Globe Tavern 214 

Epitaphs 

On James Grieve, Laird of Bog- 
head, Tarbolton 215 

On Wm. Muir in TarboUon Mill. 215 

On John Rankine 215 

On Tam the Chapman .... 215 

On Holy Willie 215 

On John Dove 216 

On a Wag in Mauchline . . . 216 

On Robert Fergusson .... 216 

Additional Stanzas on Fergusson, 216 

For William Nicol 217 

For Mr. Wilham Michie . . . 217 

For William Cruickshank, A.M. . 217 

On Robert Muir 217 

On a Lap-dog 217 

Monody on a Lady famed for 

her Caprice 217 

For Mr. Walter Riddell .... 218 

On a Noted Coxcomb .... 218 

On Capt. Lascelles 218 

On a Galloway Laird 219 

On Wm. Graham of Mossknowe, 219 
On John Bushby of Tinwald 

Downs . « 219 

On a Suicide 219 

On a Swearing Coxcomb . . . 219 
On an Innkeeper nicknamed * The 

Marquis ' 219 

On Grizzel Grimme 219 

For Gabriel Richardson , , . 220 

On the Author 220 



CONTENTS, 



Vll 



Page 

Songs from Johnson's "Musical 
Museum " and Thomson's " Scot- 
tish Airs": — 

Young Peggy , . . , o • . . . 221 

Bonie Dundee . . . » 221 

To the Weaver's gin ye Go . . . . 222 

Whistle an' I '11 come to ye, my Lad . 222 

I 'm o'er Young to marry yet c . . , 223 

The Birks of Aberfeldie „ .... 223 

M'Pherson's Farewell 224 

My Highland Lassie, O . . o . . 224 

Tho' Cruel Fate 225 

Stay my Charmer 225 

Strathallan's Lament 225 

My Hoggie .,..,...00 226 

Jumpin John 226 

Up in the Morning Early ..... 226 

The Young Highland Rover . . c . 227 

The Dusty Miller . . » 227 

I dream'd I Lay 227 

Duncan Davison 228 

Theniel Menzies' Bonie Mary . . . 228 

Lady OnUe, Honest Lucky .... 228 

The Banks of the Devon ..... 229 

Duncan Gray (first set) „ . . . . 229 

The Ploughman 230 

Landlady, Count the Lawin .... 230 

Raving Winds around her Blowing . 230 

How Lang and Dreary is the Night . 231 

Musing on the Roaring Ocean . . . 231 

Blythe was she 231 

To daunton me c . 232 

O'er the Water to Charlie 232 

A Rose-bud, by my Early Walk . . 233 

And I '11 kiss thee yet 233 

Rattlin, Roarin Willie 234 

Where, braving Angry Winter's 

Storms 234 

Tibbie, I hae seen the Day . . . 234 
Clarinda, Mistress of my Soul . . . 235 
The Winter it is Past 235 

1 love my Love in Secret 236 

Sweet Tibbie Dunbar ...... 236 

Highland Harry 237 

The Tailor fell thro* the Bed .... 237 

Ay Waukin O ......... 238 

Beware o' Bonie Ann ,.„... 238 

Laddie, lie near me 238 

The Gard'ner wi* his Paidle . . » . 239 

On a Bank of Flowers 239 

The Day Returns . . ^ . * . ^ , 239 



Page 

My Love, she 's but a Lassie yet . . 240 

Jamie, come try me , » . . . . , 240 

The Silver Tassie ..<,,... 241 

The Lazy Mist . . , , . c . . . 241 

The Captain's Lady 241 

Of a' the Airts . 242 

Carl, an the King Come , . . . . 242 

Whistle o'er the Lave o 't 242 

O, were I on Parnassus Hill .... 243 

The Captive Ribband , . . r . . 243 

There 's a Youth in this City .... 243 

My Heart 's in the Highlands . . . 244 

John Anderson my Jo . . o ... 244 

Awa, Whigs, awa 245 

Ca' the Yowes to the Knowes (first 

set) 245 

O, Merry hae I Been ...«., 246 

A Mother's Lament 246 

The White Cockade ....... 246 

The Braes o' Ballochmyle 247 

The Rantin Dog, the Daddie o 't . , 247 

Thou Ling'ring Star ....... 247 

Eppie Adair 248 

The Battle of Sherramuir 248 

Young Jockie was the Blythest Lad . 249 

A Waukrife Minnie 250 

Tho' Women's Minds 250 

Willie brew'd a Peck o' Maut . . . 251 

Killiecrankie 251 

The Blue-eyed Lassie , 252 

The Banks of Nith 252 

Tam Glen 252 

Craigieburn Wood 253 

Frae the Friends and Land I Love . 253 

John, come kiss me now .... 254 

Cock up your Beaver 254 

My Tocher 's the Jewel 254 

Guidwife, Count the Lawin .... 255 
There'll never be Peace till Jamie 

comes Hame 255 

What can a Young Lassie .... 256 

The Bonie Lad that's far awa . . . 256 

1 do confess thou art sae Fair . . . 257 
Sensibility how Charming .... 257 
Yon Wild Mossy Mountains . . . , 257 

I hae been at Crookieden 258 

It is na, Jean, thy Bonie Face . . . 258 

My Eppie MacNab 259 

Wha is that at my Bower Door , . . 259 

Bonie Wee Thing 259 

The Tither Morn 260 



viu 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

Ae Fond Kiss 260 

Lovely Davies . • • • o • • « . 261 

The Weary Fund o* Tow .... - 261 

I hae a Wife o' my ain .00... 262 

When she cam ben, she bobbed . . 262 

O, for Ane-and-twenty, Tam » . . , 262 

O, Kenmure 's on and awa, Willie . . 263 

O, leeze me on my Spinnin-wheel . . 263 

My Collier Laddie 264 

Nithsdale's Welcome Hame .... 264 

In Simmer when the Hay was Mawn . 265 

Fair Eliza e c . . 265 

Ye Jacobites by Name 266 

The Posie 266 

The Banks o' Doon .«...,. 267 

Willie Wastle . . . , 267 

Lady Mary Ann 268 

Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation . 269 

Kellyburn Braes c 269 

The Slave's Lament 271 

The Song of Death 271 

Sweet Afton 271 

Bonie Bell 272 

The Gallant Weaver , . 272 

Hey, ca' thro' 273 

O, can ye labour lea „ 273 

The Deuk 's dang o'er my Daddie . 274 

She 's Fair and Fause 274 

The Deil 's awa wi' th' Exciseman . . 274 

The Lovely Lass of Inverness . . . 275 

A Red, Red Rose , . 275 

As I stood by Yon Roofless Tower . 275 

O, an ye were dead, Guidman . . . 276 

Auld Lang Syne 277 

Louis, what reck I by thee .... 277 

Had I the Wyte ? 277 

Comin thro' the Rye ...... 278 

Young Jamie 278 

Out over the Forth 279 

Wantonness for evermair . . . « . 279 

Charlie he 's my Darling 279 

The Lass o' Ecclefechan 280 

The Cooper o' Cuddy 280 

For the Sake o' Somebody .... 280 

The Cardin o 't 281 

There 's Three True Guid Fellows . . 281 

Sae Flaxen were her Ringlets , . . 281 

The Lass that made the Bed . . c . 282 

Sae far awa 283 

The Reel o* Stumpie 283 

I '11 ay ca* in by Yon Town , . , o 283 



Page 

O, wat ye wha *s in Yon Town . . . 284 
Wherefore Sighing art thou, Phil- 

lis? 285 

O May, thy Morn 285 

As I came o'er the Cairney Mount . 285 

Highland Laddie ........ 285 

Wilt thou be my Dearie , . . , . 286 

Lovely Polly Stewart „ 286 

The Highland Balou 287 

Bannocks o' Bear Meal 287 

Wae is my Heart 287 

Here 's his Health in Water .... 288 

The Winter of Life ....... 288 

The Tailor 288 

There grows a Bonie Brier-bush . . 288 

Here 's to thy Health 289 

It was a' for our Rightfu' King . . . 289 

The Highland Widow's Lament . . 290 

Thou Gloomy December . . , . . 291 

My Peggy's Face, my Peggy's Form . 291 
O, steer her up, an' haud her 

Gaun o . . . . 291 

Wee Willie Gray . . . . o . , . 292 

We 're a' Noddin 292 

O, ay my Wife she dang Me . , . . 293 

Scroggam » . . 293 

O, Guid Ale Comes ....... 293 

Robin Shure in Hairst ...... 294 

Does Haughty Gaul Invasion Threat ? 294 

O, once I lov'd a Bonie Lass . . o 295 

My Lord a-hunting 295 

Sweetest May 296 

Meg o' the Mill 296 

Jockie 's ta'en the Parting Kiss , . , 296 

O, lay thy Loof in mine. Lass . . . 297 

Cauld is the E'ening Blast .... 297 

There was a Bonie Lass ..... 297 

There 's News, Lasses, News . . . 298 

O, that I had ne'er been Married . . 298 

Mally's Meek, Mally's Sweet . . . 298 

Wandering Willie 299 

Braw Lads o' Galla Water . , o . 299 

Auld Rob Morris 300 

Open the Door to me, O . o . . . 300 

When Wild War's Deadly Blast . . 301 

Duncan Gray (second set) .... 302 

Deluded Swain, the Pleasure . , . 302 

Here is the Glen ........ 303 

Let not Women e'er Complain . . . 303 

Lord Gregory 303 

O Poortith Cauld . • ^ 304 



CONTENTS. 



IX 



Page 

O, stay, Sweet Warbling Wood-lark . 304 

Saw ye Bonie Lesley 305 

Sweet fa's the Eve 305 

Young Jessie 305 

Adown Winding Nith 306 

A Lass wi' a Tocher 307 

i^lythe hae I been on Yon Hill • . . 307 

By Allan Stream 307 

Canst thou leave me 308 

Come, let me take thee ...... 308 

Contented wi' Little 308 

Farewell, thou Stream 309 

Had I a Cave 309 

Here 's a Health 310 

How Cruel are the Parents .... 310 
Husband, Husband, cease your 

Strife 311 

It was the Charming Month .... 311 

Last May a Braw Wooer 312 

My Nanie 's awa 313 

Now Rosy May 313 

Now Spring has Clad 314 

O, this is no my Ain Lassie .... 314 

O, wat ye wha that lo'es me .... 315 

Scots, Wha hae 315 

Their Groves o' Sweet Myrtle . . . 316 

Thine am I 316 

Thou hast left me ever, Jamie . . . 317 

Highland Mary 317 

My Chloris, Mark 318 

Fairest Maid on Devon Banks , . . 318 

Lassie wi' the Lint-white Locks . . . 319 

Long, Long the Night 319 

Logan Water 320 

Yon Rosy Brier 320 

Where are the Joys 320 

Behold the Hour 321 

Forlorn my Love 321 

Ca' the Yowes to the Knowes (second 

set) 322 

How can my Poor Heart 322 

Is there for Honest Poverty .... 323 

Mark Yonder Pomp 324 

O, let me in this Ae Night 324 

O Philly, Happy be that Day .... 325 

O, were my Love 326 

Sleep'st thou 326 

There was a Lass 327 

The Lea-rig 328 

My Wife *s a Winsome Wee Thing . 328 

Mary Morison 329 



Pagh 
Miscellaneous Songs 

A Ruined Farmer 329 

Montgomerie's Peggy .... 330 

The Lass of Cessnock Banks . . 330 

Tho* Fickle Fortune 332 

Raging Fortune 332 

My Father was a Farmer . . , 332 

O, Leave Novels 333 

The Mauchline Lady 334 

One Night as I did Wander . . 334 

There was a Lad 334 

Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary, 335 

Her Flowing Locks 335 

The Lass o' Ballochmyle , . . 335 

The Night was Still 336 

Masonic Song 336 

The Bonie Moor-hen 337 

Here 's a Bottle 337 

The Bonie Lass of Albanie . . 338 

Amang the Trees 338 

The Chevalier's Lament . . . 338 

Yestreen I had a Pint o' Wine . 339 

Sweet are the Banks 340 

Ye Flowery Banks 340 

Caledonia 341 

You 're Welcome, Willie Stewart . 342 

When First I Saw 342 

Behold the Hour (first set) . . . 343 
Here 's a Health to them that 's 

awa 343 

Ah, Chloris 344 

Pretty Peg 344 

Meg o' the Mill (second set) . . 344 

Phillis the Fair 345 

O saw ye my Dear, my Philly . . 345 

'T was na her Bonie Blue E'e . . 346 

Why, why tell thy Lover .... 346 

The Primrose 346 

O, wert thou in the Cauld Blast . 346 

Interpolations 

Your Friendship 347 

For thee is Laughing Nature . . 347 

No Cold Approach 347 

Altho' he hasleft me 347 

Let Loove Sparkle 347 

As down the Bum 348 

Improbables 

On Rough Roads •••••. 348 

Elegy on Stella ••••«.• 348 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

Poem on Pastoral Poetry , , . 350 
On the Destruction of Drumlan- 

rig Woods 351 

The Joyful Widower 351 

Why should we idly waste our 

Prime 352 

The Tree of Liberty 352 

To a Kiss 354 

Delia (an ode) 354 

To the Owl 354 

The Vowels (a tale) 355 

On the Illness of a Favourite 

Child 356 

On the Death of a Favourite 

Child 356 

Poems of Doubtful Authen- 
ticity : — 

A Tippling Ballad 357 

The Wren's Nest 358 

My Girl she 's Airy 358 

The Ploughman's Life .... 358 

Sound be his Sleep 358 

When Pleasure Fascinates . . . 358 
On Thomas Kirkpatrick, Late 

Blacksmith in Stoop .... 359 

Sick of the World 359 

The Philosopher's Stone . . . 359 

Now, God in Heaven 359 

Leezie Lindsay 359 

It may — do — maun — do. . . 359 

Dear Sir, our Lucky humbly Begs, 359 

I look to the West 360 

Ah, Chloris! 360 

Kist Yestreen, Kist Yestreen . . 360 

Come fill me a Bumper .... 360 

Extempore Lines 360 

Thanksgiving for a National Vic- 
tory 360 

Poems rejected by Latest Edi- 
tors OF Burns: — 

The Hermit of Aberfeldy . . . 361 

Pastoral Verses to Clarinda , , . 362 

The Ruined Maid's Lament . . 362 



Pagb 

The Banks of Nith 363 

Happy Friendship 363 

Come rede me, Dame 364 

Verses written under Violent Grief . 364 

As I was a-wandering 365 

Could aught of Song 365 

On himself 366 

Epitaph on the Poet's Daughter . . 366 

I met a Lass, a Bonie Lass .... 366 

On Maria Dancing 366 

Jenny M'Craw 366 

Lass, when your Mither is frae Hame . 366 

Lament 367 

O gie my Love Brose, Brose .... 367 

O wat ye what my Minnie did ? . . 367 

Oh wha is she that lo'es me ? . . . 368 

Evan Banks 368 

Powers Celestial ! whose Protection . 369 

O can ye sew Cushions ? 369 

On Burns's Horse being Impounded . 369 

Hughie Graham 370 

The Selkirk Grace 370 

Damon and Sylvia 370 

Whan I sleep I Dream 370 

Katharine J affray 370 

Braw Lads of Galla Water .... 371 

Liberty 371 

The Last Braw Bridal 372 

There came a Piper 372 

There 's naethin Hke the Honest 

Nappy 372 

When I think on the Happy Days . . 372 

Ye hae lien a' Wrang, Lassie . . . 372 

Johnny Peep 373 

Innocence 373 

Verses on Lincluden Abbey .... 373 

Verses to my Bed 374 

Bruce 374 

Shelah O'Neil 374 

Notes , . . . . 377 

Glossary 385 

Chronological Index .... 421 
General Index of Titles and 

First Lines 432 



\ 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 



5><KC 



Robert Burns was born January 25, 1759. 

His father, William Burns, or Burness, was of the North of Scotland where, at 
Kincardineshire, his ancestors for many generations had been farmers. He was 
" thrown by early misfortunes on the world at large," says the poet in his biographical 
letter to Dr. Moore, and there he adds, " after many years' wanderings and sojourn- 
ings, I picked up a pretty large quantity of observation and experience, to which I 
am indebted for most of my little pretensions to wisdom. I have met with few who 
understood men, their manners and their ways, equal to him; but stubborn, ungainly 
integrity, and headlong, ungovernable irascibility, are disqualifying circumstances; 
consequently, I was born a very poor man's son." 

After several years' residence near Edinburgh, he took seven acres of land in 
Doonside with the intention of becoming a nurseryman, but was engaged as gardener 
and overseer to Mr. Fergusson of Doonholm. He retained the land, and on one 
spot of it built a clay " biggin " or cottage, divided into a kitchen with a recess for a 
bed, and a " spence " or sitting-room with a fireplace and chimney. Gilbert Burns 
remarked, long afterwards, that when it was altogether cast over inside and outside 
with lime it had "a neat and comfortable appearance." It still stands, and is used as 
a Burns museum. Here in December, 1757, he brought his bride, Agnes Brown, the 
daughter of a Carrick farmer; a red-haired, dark-eyed, hot-tempered lassie eleven 
years his junior. 

Robert w^as their first-born. When he was seven years old his father became 
tenant of a small farm belonging to Mr. Fergusson, at Mount Oliphant, not far from 
the mouth of "Bonnie Doon." The land was poor; and after the death of their 
" generous master " they " fell into the hands of a factor," who, says Burns, sat for 
the picture that he drew of one in his tale of " Twa Dogs." 

Still more trying was their life at Tarbolton on the Ayr, where they took a larger 
farm in 1777. At first they lived comfortably; but a difference as to terms arose, 
and *' after three years' tossing and whirling in the vortex of litigation," the suit was 
decided in favor of the landlord, and William Burness, whose health and spirit were 
entirely broken, died in February, 1784, "just saved from the horrors of a jail." 

Robert began to go to school when he was six years old. In 1765, John Murdoch, 
a young man of eighteen, became his teacher. In his recollections Murdoch says 
that Robert and Gilbert were generally near the head of their classes, " even when 
ranged with boys by far their seniors." He says that they committed to memory the 
hymns and other poems of Masson's collection with uncommon facility; but strangely 
enough the two boys were behind all the others in music. " Robert's ear," says 

xi 



xii • BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

Murdoch, "was remarkably dull, and his voice untunable. It was long before 1 
could get them to distinguish one tune from another; " and, in conclusion, he 
declares, that " certainly if any person who knew the two boys had been asked which 
of them was the most likely to court the Muses, he would surely never have guessed 
that Robert had a propensity of that kind." 

" Though it cost the schoolmaster some thrashings," says Burns, " I made an 
excellent English scholar; and by the time I was ten or eleven years of age, I was a 
critic in substantives, verbs, and particles. In my infant and boyish days, too, I owe 
much to an old woman who resided in the family, remarkable for her ignorance, 
credulity, and superstition. She had, I suppose, the largest collection in the country 
of tales and songs concerning devils, ghosts, fairies, brownies, witches, warlocks, 
spunkies, kelpies, elf-candles, death-lights, wraiths, apparitions, cantraips, enchanted 
towers, giants, dragons, and other trumpery. This cultivated the latent seeds of 
poesy. . . . The earliest composition that I recollect taking pleasure in was * The 
Vision of Mirza,' and a hymn of Addison's beginning, * How are thy servants blest, 
O Lord ! '" 

He says that the first books that he read in private were *' The Life of Hannibal," 
lent to him by Mr. Murdoch, and the " History of Sir William Wallace," which he 
procured from a neighboring blacksmith; and declares that Hannibal gave his young 
ideas such a turn, that he used to strut in rapture up and down after the recruiting 
drum and bagpipe, and wish himself tall enough to be a soldier; while the story of 
Wallace poured into his veins a Scottish prejudice which would boil ^.long there till 
the flood-gates of life shut in eternal rest. 

Salmon's and Guthrie's geographical grammars told him all that he knew of 
" ancient story." His ideas of *' modern manners, of literature and criticism," he 
got from the "Spectator." Pope's works, some of Shakespeare's plays, Locke's 
" Essay on Human Understanding," Allan Ramsay's works, Taylor's " Scripture 
Doctrine of Original Sin," a select collection of English songs, Hervey's " Medita- 
tion," ai'd a few other books, formed the whole of his early reading. 

The collection of songs, he says, was his vade mecum : " I pored over them driv- 
ing my cart, or walking to labor, song by song, verse by verse : carefully noting the 
true, tender, or sublime, from affectation and fustian. I am convinced," he adds, " I 
owe to this practice much of my critic craft, such as it is." 

After Mr. Murdoch, who was, unfortunately, addicted to the use of ardent spirits, 
left Mr. Oliphant he sometimes came back to make visits, and on one occasion read 
Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus "; and it is said that " Robert's pure taste rose in a 
passionate revolt against its coarse cruelties and unspiritual horrors." Murdoch also 
helped him to a small knowledge of French. But when a lady once asked him if he 
had studied Latin, he replied : 

" All I know of Latin is contained in three words, 07nnia vincit Amor !^^ 

After the removal of the family to Lochlea in 1777, he received from his father 
yearly wages of seven pounds sterling. In order to give his manners a brush, as he 
expresses it, he at that time began to go to a country dancing-school. His father had 
"an unaccountable antipathy against such meetings"; and indeed he had reason to 
tremble for his son. On his death-bed, when Robert was present alone with him and 
his sister, Mrs. Begg, he confessed that there was one of his family for whose future 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH^ xiii 

he feared. Robert asked: "Oh, father, is it me you mean?" and when the old man 
said it was, Robert turned to the window and burst into tears. 

Burns had already been initiated into the delirious society of love and had " com- 
mitted the sin of rhyme." When he was about sixteen his partner in the harvesting 
was Miss Nellie Kilpatrick, known as " Handsome Nell," a girl a year younger than 
himself. "Among her other love-inspiring qualities, she sang sweetly, and it was to 
her favorite reel " that he first attempted to fit words. It was the song beginning; 

" O, once I lov'd a bonnie lass, 
Ay, and I love her still, 
And whilst that virtue warms my breast 
I '11 love my handsome Nell. 

Fal lal de ral, etc." 

His own criticism upon it in his " Common-Place Book " is interesting and curious. 
After taking it up stanza by stanza he adds : " I remember I composed it in a wild 
enthusiasm of passion; and to this hour I never recollect it but my heart melts, my 
blood sallies at the remembrance." 

The dancing-school offered further opportunities in what the Scotch call sweet- 
hearting. Burns, who saw no way to rise above his surroundings and yet had a vast 
ambition, became discouraged, and simply drifted with the tide. He says of this 
period : 

" My heart was completely tinder, and was eternally lighted up by some goddess 
or other; and, as in every other warfare in this world, my fortune was various, some- 
times I was received with favor, and sometimes I was mortified with a repulse. At 
the plough, scythe, or reap-hook I feared no competitor, and thus I set absolute 
want at defiance; and as I never cared farther for my labors than while I was in 
actual exercise, I spent the evenings in the way after my own heart." 

All this was a dangerous but powerful training for the profession of minnesinger. 

When he was eighteen years of age, he studied mensuration, sur\^eying, drilling, 
and kindred branches of practical knowledge, under the parish schoolmaster of 
Kirkoswald in the district of Carrick, where he spent some time, probably with his 
mother's relatives. 

The schoolmaster, whose name was Rodger, was " skilled in mathematics," but 
possessed " a narrow understanding and little general knowledge." He discovered 
that Burns and a youth called " Willie " were in the habit of holding " disputations 
or arguments on speculative questions." This seemed to him absurd ; and one 
day, when the whole school was assembled, he went up to the two young men and 
began very sarcastically to twit them on their debates. The other scholars who had 
been invited to join in these intellectual disputes, but who preferred ball or shirty, 
burst into uproarious laughter at the teacher's wit. 

" WilHe " repHed that he was sorry to find that Robert and he had given offence; 
that it was unintentional; indeed, they supposed he would be pleased to know of 
their attempts to improve their minds. Rodger asked what they disputed about, and 
" W^ilhe " replied that their question that day had been whether a great general or a 
respectable merchant were the most valuable member of society. The master, laugh- 



xiv BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 

ing contemptuously at the " silliness " of such a question, said there could be no doubt 
^out it, and was drawn into an argument by Burns, who easily got the better of him. 
Failing to regain his superiority Rodger fell into such a ^' pitiable state of vexation " 
that he had to dismiss the school. 

But it was not altogether mental improvement he found at this " noted school." 
That wild coast was the resort of smugglers. He made good progress in his mathe 
matics, but he says he made greater progress in the knowledge of mankind: "The 
contraband trade was at that time very successful, and it sometimes happened to me 
to fall in with those who carried it on. Scenes of swaggering riot and roaring dissi- 
pation were, till this time, new to me; but I was no enemy to social life. Here, 
though I learnt to fill my glass, and to mix without fear in a drunken squabble, yet I 
went on with a high hand with my geometry till the sun entered Virgo, a month which 
is always a carnival in my bosom; when a charming fillette, who lived next door to 
Yhe school, overset my trigonometry, and set me off at a tangent from the spheres of 
my studies." 

The image of that " modest and innocent girl " effectually prevented any more 
attempts to measure the sun's altitude. Study was useless. But " the ebullition of 
that passiqn " was only a song, one of his most beautiful, beginning *' Now westlin 
winds and slaught'ring guns." 

On his return to Tarbolton he still further indulged his love of discussion by join- 
ing with his brother Gilbert and five other young men in establishing a debating 
society, where the young people set for themselves such questions as this : " Suppose 
a young man, bred a farmer, but without any fortune, has it in his power to marry 
either of two women : the one a girl of large fortune, but neither handsome in person 
nor agreeable in conversation, but who can manage the household affairs of a farm 
well enough; the other of them, a girl every way agreeable in person, conversation, 
and behavior, but without any fortune : which of them shall he choose? " 

At Tarbolton also, while still under his father's roof, Burns wrote several of his 
finest and sweetest songs : 

" Behind yon hills, where Lugar flows 
Mang moors an' mosses many, O ! 
The wintry sun the day has clos'd. 
An' I '11 awa' to Nanie, O." 
and 

" It was upon a Lammas night, 
When corn rigs are bonie. 
Beneath the moon's unclouded light, 
I held awa' to Annie : " 

and more than one in praise of the Tarbolton lasses : 

" There 's few sae bonie, nane sae guid 
In a' King George' dominion." 

While still at Tarbolton, Burns was induced by his friend, John Rankine, to join 
St. Mary's Lodge of Free-masons; and he became like Mozart, and about the same 
time, an enthusiastic member of the order. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. xv 



When he was about twenty-three years old, he conceived the idea of going into 
the flax business; so he went to Uve with a flax-dresser named Peacock, a relative of 
his mother's, in the neighboring town of Irvine. 

Among his acquaintances at Irvme, which was a small seaport town, were also 
smugglers, whose influence upon him was not good; and his chief friend was a young 
fellow named Richard Brown, whom he called " a very noble character, but a hapless 
son of misfortune." This " noble fellow," whose mind " was fraught with indepen- 
dence, magnanimity, and every manly virtue," was the only man, Burns confesses, 
who was a greater fool than himself "where Woman was the presiding star." " He 
spoke of illicit love with the levity of a sailor, which hitherto I had regarded with 
horror. Here his friendship did me a mischief ; and the consequence was that soon 
after I assumed the plough, I wrote the * Poet's Welcome.' " 

The illegitimate daughter thus welcomed bore a striking resemblance to Burns. She 
married Mr. John Bishop of Polkemmet, and died in 1 817. It is proper to add that 
the poet was afterwards " stung by a manly sorrow " at the tone in which this poem 
to his shame was written. 

Doubtless his recklessness was partly due to the fact that he had just been disap- 
pointed in his hopes of marrying Miss Ellison Begbie, " an amiable, intelligent, but 
not particularly handsome girl," in the service of a family on the banks of the 
Cessnock. To her he wrote the song : 

" On Cessnock banks a lassie dwells; 

Could I describe her shape and mien ! 
Our lasses a' she far excels. 

An' she has twa sparkling rogueish een." 

He was deeply in love with her, but her aff"ections were given to another. 

He was at this time suffering from a nervous disorder, and his constitutional 
hypochondria, inherited from his father, was intensified by the depressing effects of 
dissipation. His gloomy state of mind may be seen in certain passages of a letter 
written to his father two days after Christmas, 1781 or 1782: 

"Honored Sir, 

" My health is nearly the same as when you were here, only my sleep is a little 
sounder, and on the whole I am rather better than otherwise, though I mend by very 
slow degrees. The weakness of my nerves has so debilitated my mind that I dare 
neither review past events, nor look forward into futurity; for the least anxiety or 
perturbation in my breast produces most unhappy effects on my whole frame. Some- 
times, indeed, when for an^hour or two my spirits are a little lightened, I glujtmer a. 
little into futurity; but my principal, and indeed my only pleasurable employment, is 
looking backwards and forwards in a moral and religious way. I am quite trans- 
ported at the thought that ere long, perhaps very soon, I shall bid an eternal adieu to 
all the pains, and uneasinesses, and disquietudes of this weary life; for I assure you I 
am heartily tired of it, and if I do not very much deceive myself, I could contentedly 
and gladly resign it. . . . As for this world, I despair of ever making a figure in it. 
I am not formed for the bustle of the busy, nor the flutter of the gay. I shall never again 



Kvi BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

be capable of entering into such scenes. Indeed, I am altogether unconcerned at the 
thoughts of this life. I foresee that poverty and obscurity probably await me, and I 
am in some measure prepared, and daily preparing, to meet them. I have but just 
time and paper to return you my grateful thanks for the lessons of virtue and piety 
you have given me, which were too much neglected at the time of giving them, but 
which I hope have been remembered ere it is yet too late. . . . '^ 

Three days later, while he and some of his friends " were giving a welcome carou- 
sal to the new year," the shop was set on fire and totally destroyed, so that he " was 
left like a true poet, not worth a sixpence." He attributed it to " the drunken care- 
lessness " of his partner's wife. His partner he called "a scoundrel tf the first 
water, who made money by the mystery of thieving! " 

A year or two afterwards, in March, 1784, he wrote in his " Common-Place Book " : 
" There was a certain period of m^ life that my spirit was broke by repeated losses 
and disasters, which threatened, and indeed effected, the utter ruin of my fortune. 
My body, too, was attacked by that most dreadful distemper, a hypochondria, or 
confirmed melancholy. In this wretched state, the recollection of which makes me 
yet shudder, I hung my harp on the willow-trees, except in some lucid intervals, in 
one of which I composed the * Prayer : Under the Pressure of Violent Anguish,' 
which begins: 

" O Thou Great Being ! what Thou art 
Surpasses me to know : 
Yet sure I am, that known to Thee 
Are all Thy works below." 

But at last the cloud passed, as is shown by the cheerfulness of his extempore lines 
which are referred to the following April : 

" O, why the deuce should I repine. 
And be an ill foreboder? 
1 'm twenty-three, and five feet nine — 
I '11 go and be a sodger. 

I gat some gear wi' meikle care, 

I held it weel thegither; 
But now it 's gane — and something mair : 

I '11 go and be a sodger." 

After his return to Lochlea, he and his brother Gilbert hired a farm of one hundred 
and nineteen acres at Mossgiel, near the village of Mauchline, at an annual rental of 
ninety pounds. Three months later their father died, leaving his affairs in utter ruin. 
" His all," says Burns, " w^ent among the hell hounds that growl in the kennel of 
justice." As his sons and two married daughters ranked as creditors for arrears of 
wages, they saved a Httle money from the wreck, and the whole family moved to 
Mossgiel in March, 1784. Gilbert Burns bears witness to his brother's steadiness and 
industry during their joint partnership, but, after all, the drudgery of farming was 
Vksome to a poet : it was Pegasus harnessed to a plough. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. xvii 



He expresses his feelings in a rhymed epistle to his friend David Sillar, "a brother 
poet, lover, ploughman, and fiddler " : 

" While winds frae aff Ben-Lomond blaw 
And bar the doors wi' drivin snaw, 

And hing us owre the ingle, 
I set me down to pass the time, 
And spin a verse or twa o' rhyme. 

In hamely, westlin jingle : 
While frosty winds blaw in the drift, 

Ben to the chimla lug, 
I grudge a wee the great-folk's gift, 
That live sae bien an' snug : 
I tent less, and want less 

Their roomy fireside; 
But hanker, and canker, 
To see their cursed pride. 

It 's hardly in a body's pow'r 

To keep, at times, frae being sour, 

To see how things are shar'd; 
How best o' chiels are whyles in want, 
While coofs on countless thousands rant. 



It 's no in titles nor in rank; 

It 's no in wealth hke Lon'on Bank, 

To purchase peace and rest; 
It 's no in makin muckle, mair : 
It 's no in books, it 's no in lear. 

To make us truly blest : 
If happiness hae not her seat 

An' centre in the breast, 
We may be wise, or rich, or great. 
But never can be blest ! 

Nae treasures nor pleasures 

Could make us happy lang; 
The heart ay 's the part ay. 
That makes us right or wrang. 

But tent me, Davie, ace o' hearts ! 

(To say aught less wad wrang the cartes. 

And flatt'ry I detest) 
This life has joys for you and I; 
And joys that riches ne'er could buy. 

And joys the very best. 



xviii BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

There 's a' the pleasures o' the heart. 

The lover an' the frien'; 
Ye hae your Meg, your dearest part, 
And I my darhng Jean ! 
It warms me, it charms me 

To mention but her name : 
It heats me, it beets me, 
And sets me a' on flame ! '* 



The " darh'ng Jean," celebrated in his " Epistle to Davie," and in many another 
poem, was Jean Armour, a " comely country lass," whom he met at a penny wedding 
at Mauchline. They chanced to be dancing in the same quadrille when the poet's 
dog sprang to his master and almost upset some of the dancers. Burns remarked 
that he wished he could get any of the lasses to like him as well as his dog did. 

Some days afterward, Jean, seeing him pass as she was bleaching clothes on the 
village green, called to him and asked him if he had as yet got any of the lasses to 
like him as well as his dog did. 

This was the beginning of an acquaintance which colored all of Burns's life. 

In the spring of 1786 he learned that she was about to become a mother. 

In Scotland at that time a license and a ceremony were not required in order to 
legalize a marriage. Burns, who was inclined to be honorable, gave Jean a written 
acknowledgment of marriage — a sufficient reparation in the eyes of the law. 

But the master-mason, her father, compelled her to destroy the paper and to have 
nothing more to do with Burns, who was then in the straits of poverty owing to a 
succession of bad crops, and who was with some reason looked upon by the pious 
inhabitants of that parish as little better than a Pariah. 

This was in April. It was under the gloom of this bitter trouble that Burns wrote 
his " Lament occasioned by the Unfortunate Issue ol a Friend's Amour " : 

" O thou pale Orb that silent shines 

While care-untroubled mortals sleep ! 
Thou seest a wretch who inly pines, 

And wanders here to wail and weep ! 

With woe I nightly vigils keep. 
Beneath thy wan, unwarming beam; 

And mourn, in lamentation deep, 
How life and love are all a dream." 

The friend was of course his best friend and worst enemy — himself. 

Burns was really very fond of his " Bonnie Jean," and he wrote that though he had 
not a hope or a wish to make her his after her conduct, yet when he was told that 
" the names were out " of the informal marriage contract, " his heart died within him 
and his veins were cut with the news." 

Emerson says: Nature's darlings, the great, the strong, the beautiful, are not 
children of our law ; do not come out of the Sunday school, nor weigh their food, 
nor punctually keep the commandments. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. xix 

So much the worse for them. 

The destruction of the paper did not, of course, absolve Burns, but he determined 
to leave Scotland forever. He entered into negotiations with Dr. John Hamilton 
with the view of going out to Jamaica as bookkeeper on a plantation there. 

While this matter was pending, and while he was still sore at the treatment which 
he had received from the Armours, Mary Campbell, known to fame as " Hieland 
Mary," " a most sprightly, blue-eyed creature of great modesty and self-respect," who 
had been in the service of his friend and landlord, Gavin Hamilton, showed so much 
sympathy with him, that Burns, considering himself free, offered to make her his 
wife, and she agreed to go with him to Jamaica. She left Mauchline and started on 
foot for Campbelltown in the Highlands, where her father was a sailor. 

Burns accompanied her. It was the second Sunday in May, 1786. They reached 
"a sequestered spot on the banks of the Ayr," — now a railway runs within a few 
yards of it, — and there the parting took place. According to tradition, they stood 
on opposite sides of a slow-running brook, and, dipping their hands into the pure 
water, swore solemn vows to be true and one till death. 

At the Burns monument at Ayr are preserved the Bibles which they exchanged. 
Mary's gift to Burns is a small plain one ; his to her, a dainty edition in two vol- 
umes. In one of them the poet wrote the Scripture verse : 

Ye shall not swear by my name falsely ; I am the Lord (Levit. xix. 12). 
And in the other : 

Thou shall not forswear thyself but shall perforin unto the Lord thine oaths (Matt. 

V. 33)- 

The poem " To Mary " is referred by Burns to this time when he was " thinking 
of going to the West Indies ": 

" Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary, 
And leave auld Scotia's shore? 
Will ye go the Indies, my Mary, 
Across the Atlantic's roar?'* 

Nothing more was said about Mary Campbell going to Jamaica with him. Indeed, 
he never saw her again. After making her visit at Campbelltown, she started for 
Glasgow to take the prosaic place of a servant; but stopping at Greenock to care for 
a sick brother, she caught the fever and died. 

There is nothing in Burns's behavior or his letters to indicate that this poetic end- 
ing of a miserable story was regarded as anything but a relief. When he heard the 
news his face changed and he left the house; but he said nothing about it, and only 
his immortal poem "To Mary in Heaven," written years afterward, shows that it 
made an impression on him. 

On the contrary, it was probably only a hasty episode conducted partly under the 
influence of pique; and so he continued his preparations for his journey, and wrote his 
rhymes, and conceived the idea of publishing them. 

In the following June, 1786, he wrote to Mr. David Brice, a shoemaker of 
Glasgow, a full account of his trouble. He said: 

" Poor, ill-advised, ungrateful Armour came home on Friday last. You have heard 



XX 



BIOGFL\PHICAL SKETCH. 



all the particulars of that anair, and a black anair it is. What s>he thinks of her con- 
duct now, I don't know; one thing I do know — she has made me completely 
miserable. Never man loved, or rather adored, a woman more than I did her : and 
to confess a truth between you and me, I do still love her to distraction after all, 
though I won't tell her so if I were to see her, which I don't want to do. My poor, 
dear, unfortunate Jean ! how happy have I been in thy arms I It is not the losing her 
that makes me so unhappy, but for her sake I feel most severely : I foresee she is in 
the road to, 1 am afraid, eternal ruin. 

*• May Almighty God forgive her ingratitude and perjur}- to me, as I from my 
ver}' soul forgive her ; and may His grace be with her and bless her in all her future 
life I 1 can have no nearer idea of the place of eternal punishment that what I have 
felt in my own breast on her account. I have tried often to forget her; I have run 
into all kinds of dissipation and riots, mason-meetings, drinking-matches, and other 
mischief, to drive her out of my head, but all in vain. And now fur a grand cure : 
the ship is on her way home that is to take me out to Jamaica; and then, farewell 
dear old Scotland I and farewell dear, ungrateful Jean I for never, never will I see 
you more. 

" You will have heard that I am going to commence ix)et in print; and to-morrow 
my works go to the press, I expect it will be a volume of about two hundred pages 
— it is just the last foolish action I intend to do; and then turn a wise man as fast 
as possible." 

It was only after considerable hesitation that he had determined to venture into 
print with a volume of poems. * Thus he e3q)ressed his doubts in a poetic epistle to his 
crony, Mr. James Smith, a shopkeeper in Mauchline : 

*• Just now I 've taen the fit o' rhyme. 
My barmie noddle 's working prime. 
My fancie yerkit up sublime 

Wi' hast}* summon : 
Hae ye a leisure-moment's time 

To hear what 's comin? 

ScHDC rh\Tne a neebor's name to lash ; 

Some rh>Tne (vain thought I) for needfu' cash; 

Some rhyme to court the countra clash. 

An' raise a din; 
For me, an aim I never fash; 

I rhyme for fan. 

The star that rules my luckless lot. 

Has fated me the russet ccat. 

An' damn'd my fortune to the groat; 

But, in requit, 
Has blest me with a random-shot 

O* countra wit. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. xxi 

This while my motion 's taen a sklent, 
To try my fate in guid, black prent; 
But still the mair I 'm that way bent, 

Something cries, ' Hoolie ! 
I red you, honest man, tak tent ! 

Ye '11 shaw your folly : 

* There 's ither poets, much your betters, 
Far seen in Greek, deep men o' letters, 
Hae thought they had ensur'd their debtors, 

A' future ages; 
Now moths deform, in shapeless tatters, 

Their unknown pages.' 

Then farewell hopes o' laurel boughs 
To garland my poetic brows ! 
Henceforth I '11 rove where busy ploughs 

Are whistling thrang; 
An' teach the lanely heights an' howes 

My rustic sang." 

He had material enough for a volume. For months he had been pouring forth his 
most beautiful poems. He had " electrified " his brother Gilbert by repeating to him 
"The Cotter's Saturday Night " — that sentimental apotheosis of humble piet\^ and 
rural content. 

Many of his songs were household words in his neighborhood. He had won 
unstinted applause and even more unbounded blame by his satiric verses occasioned 
by a quarrel which was dividing the parish at that day, and into which he entered 
with all the zeal of his impetuous nature. 

The descendants or representatives of the old Covenanters, naturally proud of their 
distinction, clung to a fierce and unmodified Calvinism. Their clergy and the elders 
of the Kirk possessed a moral dominion which had become a veritable tyranny, ex- 
tending from the weightier matters of the law even down to the merest trifles of con- 
duct or opinion. 

This party were called **The Auld Lichts." 

Opposed to them were the Xew Lights, or Moderates, who believed that Christians 
had no right to lay down the law upon their brethren in matters of faith and practice, 
and that the "Kirk Session " — that is, the Committee of the Elders — existed simply 
to assist the minister in knowing his congregation. 

The two ministers of Ayr belonged to the Xew Lights, and one of them, Dr. 
IMcGill, had undergone persecution. Burns's kind landlord and friend, Gavin Hamil- 
ton, had been absent from church two or three Sundays, and it was discovered, by 
questioning the servants, that he was remiss in the ordinances of family worship. He 
had also neglected to pay a small church rate. He was selected as a special victim 
of the dominant party. Burns, whose father was a Moderate, naturally sympathized 
with that side. 



xxii BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

The armor of the Evangelicals was not arrow-proof. The shafts of ridicule could 
find joints to pierce ; and, worse yet, vital places were not protected. Some of the 
most violent persecutors of Gavin Hamilton were secretly guilty of unworthy practices, 
and Burns was alert to seize every chance. 

Thus he picked out Mr. William Fisher, one of the Kirk elders of Mauchline, and 
gibbeted him in the doggerel rhymes — unfortunately not guiltless of vulgarity — 
entitled " Holy Willie's Prayer " i 

" Oh Thou, wha in the heavens dost dwell, 
Wha, as it pleases best Thysel', 
Sends ane to heaven and ten to hell, 

A' for Thy glory, 
And no for onie guid or ill 

They 've done afore Thee ! *' 

The attack was after all not so disreputable as the elder's own career. Burns 
called him a hypocrite; he was worse. He afterwards was found guilty of embezzling 
church funds; and he died in a ditch into which he fell while "elevated," as they 
then called being tipsy. 

Two Auld Licht divines had quarrelled about their parish boundaries, and Burns 
satirized them in his "Twa Herds " : 

" O a' ye pious godly flocks, 
Weel fed on pastures orthodox, 
Wha now will keep you frae the fox 

Or worrying tykes? 
Or wha will tent the waifs an' crocks 
About the dykes? 

The twa best herds in a' the wast, 
That e'er gae gospel horn a blast 
These five and twenty summers past — 

O, dool to tell ! — 
Hae had a bitter, black out-cast 

Atween themsel'. 



Sic twa — O ! do I live to see 't ? — 
Sic famous twa sud disagree 't. 
An' names like * villain,' * hypocrite,' 

Ilk ither gi'en. 
While New-Light herds wi' laughin' spite 

Say, * neither 's liein ! * " 

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper had in many places gradually degenerated 
into a sort of carousal, where there was much eating and drinking, much gossip and 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. xxiii 

even flirtation. This state of things Burns satirized in his poem entitled " The Holy 
Fair": 

'* Upon a simmer Sunday morn, 
When Nature's face is fair, 
I walked forth to view the corn. 

An' snuff the caller air. 
The risin' sun, owre Galston muirs, 

Wi' glorious light was glintin; 
The hares were hirplin down the furs. 
The lav'rocks they were chantin 

Fu' sweet that day." 

As " lightsomely " the poet glowers abroad "to see a scene so gay," three Hizzies 
— Fun, Superstition, and Hypocrisy — come "skelpin up the way," bound for 
" Mauchline Holy Fair"; and Fun, his "crony dear," invites him to accompany 
them. The sights that he witnessed he then describes with more zest than propriety. 

There were more satirical poems of the same sort; and though they had their 
legitimate effect (as was the case with " The Holy Fair ") and worked a needed 
reform, they brought much obloquy upon Burns himself, who was perfectly reckless 
as long as he made a point. 

It was not hypocrisy in religion alone which he satirized. The village school- 
master set up a grocery store, and, having a liking for drugs, advertised that " advice 
would be given in common disorders, at the shop, gratis." He put on great airs of 
medical knowledge, and Burns one day repeated to his brother Gilbert the terrible 
lines entitled " Death and Doctor Hornbook." 

Here the Deil describes the various cases in which 

" Hornbook was by wi' ready art," 

to prevent poor humanity from paying its last debt, and "stop him of his lawfu' 
prey." 

The laughter caused by this satire was so great, that it actually drove John Wil- 
son, the apothecary and schoolmaster, out of the country. 

It seemed to Burns that his local reputation as a poet justified him in risking the 
venture ; so he collected over three hundred subscriptions, and engaged John Wil- 
son, a printer at Kilmarnock, to publish the volume. 

While he was busy correcting the proofs, Jean Armour came home. Hfe went to 
call upon her, " not," so he wrote, "from the least view of reconcihation, but merely 
to ask for her health . . . and from a foolish, hankering fondness, very ill-placed 
indeed." 

Her mother forbade him the house; and with anger in his heart, he resolved to 
gain his " certificate as a single man,'' promised him by the minister, provided he 
would comply with the rules of the church. On the seventeenth of July he wrote to 
Mr. David Brice : 

" I have already appeared publicly in church, and was indulged in the liberty of 
standing in my own seat. I do this to get a certificate as a bachelor, which Mr. Auld 
has promised me. I am now fixed to go for the West Indies in October. Jean and 



xxiv BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 



\ 



her friends insisted much that she should stand along with me in the kirk, but the 
minister would not allow it, which bred a great trouble, I assure you, and I am 
blamed as the cause of.it, though I am sure I am innocent ; but I am very much 
pleased, for all that, not to have had her company." 

In order to drive Burns from the country, Jean's father got out a warrant to 
arrest him. " Some ill-advised people," he wrote Dr. Moore, " had uncoupled the 
merciless pack of the law at his heels," and he was skulking about from Carrick to 
Kyle, and from Kyle to Carrick. 

"The ship Nancy, Captain Smith, from Clyde to Jamaica, and to call at Antigua," 
was to sail toward the latter part of August. Here was the chance for Burns. He 
was saying good-by to his friends. 

He had passed what he supposed was his last night at the Tarbolton Lodge, where 
it was afterwards remembered that he " came in a pair of buckskins, out of which he 
would always pull the other shilling for the other bowl till it was five o'clock in the 
morning." 

The departure was postponed till September, and in September poor Jean " repaid 
him double." An understanding was reached between the two families as to the 
nurture of the twins ; and still Burns lingered, with " tender yearnings of heart for 
the little angels to whom he gave existence," and with indefinite hopes that after all 
he might not be " exiled, abandoned, forlorn." 

His poems had succeeded better than he feared. After he had settled with 
Wilson, he had about twenty pounds to his credit, and was trying to publish a second 
edition. But Wilson refused to undertake it unless the twenty-seven pounds required 
for paper were advanced. "This," said Burns, *' is out of my power, so farewell 
hopes of a second edition till I grow richer ! an epocha which, I think, will arrive at 
the payment of the British national debt." And he added in reference to his 
domestic troubles: 

" I have for some time been pining under secret wretchedness, from causes which 
you pretty well know — the pang of disappointment, the sting of pride, with some 
wandering stabs of remorse, which never fail to settle on my vitals like vultures, when 
attention is not called away by the calls of society, or the vagaries of the Muse. 
Even in the hour of social mirth, my gayety is the madness of an intoxicated 
criminal under the hands of the executioner. All these reasons urge me to go 
abroad; and to all these reasons I have only one answer, — the feelings of a 
father. This, in the present mood I am in, overbalances everything that can be 
laid in the scale against it." 

The poems were becoming known outside of Ayrshire. Dr. Lawrie of Lou- 
don, near Kilmarnock, sent a copy of the precious volume to Dr. Thomas Black- 
lock of Edinburgh, the well-known blind poet and preacher, who replied in a 
most complimentary manner, and wished, " for the sake of the young man, that 
a second edition, more numerous than the former, could immediately be printed." 

Professor Dugald Stewart of Edinburgh had a country residence at Catrine-on- 
the-Ayr, only a few miles from Mossgiel ; and having come into possession of 
Burns's poems, he invited the young man to dine with him. On this occasion he 
met Basil William, Lord Daer, the son of the Earl of Selkirk, a youth of twenty- 
three, and shortly afterward wrote the poem beginning: 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 



XXV 



" This wot ye all whom it concerns : 
I, Rhymer Robin, alias Burns, 

October twenty-third, 
A ne'er-to-be-forgotten day, 
Sae far I sprachl'd up the brae 

I dinner'd wi' a Lord ! " 

l:'rotessor Stewart declared that " his manners were simple, manly, and independent; 
strongly expressive of conscious genius and worth, but without anything that indicated 
forwardness, arrogance, and vanity." 

About the same time the Edinburgh Alagazifte came out with a favorable review of 
the poems, and Burns was so much encouraged that he determined to go to Edin- 
burgh and try his fortunes there. 

He mounted his pony and reached " Edina, Scotia's darling seat," on the evening 
of November 28, 1786. For the first fortnight he suffered "with a miserable 
headache and stomach complaint," and apparently did little else than 

" View that noble, stately dome 
Where Scotia's kings of other years, 
Fam'd heroes ! had their royal home ! " 

and make himself familiar with the sights of the historic city. 

He found a warm welcome among the literary celebrities of the day, — Professor 
Stewart, Professor Blair, Mr. Mackenzie, author of "The Man of Feeling," and 
others. INlr. James Dalrymple of Orangefield, near Ayr, gave him an introduction 
to his brother-in-law, the Earl of Glencairn, through whose influence he was brought 
before the Caledonian Hunt, a society of the Scottish nobility. In a letter to 
Gavin Hamilton, dated December 7, he wrote : 

" I am in a fair way of becoming as eminent as Thomas ^ Kempis or John 
Bunyan ; and you may expect henceforth to, see my birthday inserted among the 
wonderful events, in the Poor Robin's and Aberdeen Almanacks, along with 
the Black Monday, and the Battle of Bothwell Bridge. My Lord Glencairn and 
the Dean of Faculty, Mr. H. Erskine, have taken me under their wing ; and by 
all probability I shall soon be the tenth worthy, and the eighth wise man of the 
world. Through my Lord's influence it is inserted in the records of the Cale- 
donian Hunt, that they universally, one and all, subscribe for the second edition." 

This subscription, amounting to a hundred guineas, insured the success of the 
volume. Private individuals, also, subscribed liberally, one taking forty-two copies, 
another forty, another twenty, at five shillings each. 

As an enthusiastic Freemason, Burns was w^elcomed to the Kilwinning Lodge of 
Edinburgh, and was made their Poet Laureate. 

There are a number of descriptions of Burns at that time. Professor Josiah 
Walker described him as strong and well-knit in person, " much superior to what 
might be expected in a plowman " ; his stature rather above middle height, though 
"from want of setting up" it seemed to be "only of the middle size"; his " large, 
dark eye," the most striking index of his character; his dress simple, plain, but 
appropriate; his hair, unpowdered, was tied behind and spread upon his forehead; 



xxvi BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

his manner, absolutely free from affectation; nor did his conversation or behavior 
betray " that he had been for some months the favorite of all the fashionable circles of 
a metropolis." 

Walter Scott, then a youth of sixteen, met him at the house of Dr. Adam Ferguson, 
and remembered the " dignified plainness and simplicity of his manners," the " strong 
expression of strength and shrewdness in all his lineaments," and above all his large 
and glowing eye, which alone seemed to indicate his " poetical character and tem- 
perament." 

Only two instances are on record where he allowed himself any breach of eti- 
quette, and they were not serious. Generally he was welcomed as an equal; and if 
he shone in conversation in the more polished circles, he scintillated in the free and 
easy life of the taverns and the lodges. 

While he was correcting his proofs he was puzzling his head as to what the future 
had in store for him, and debating whether to go to farming again. 

Burns recognized that he was out of place in Edinburgh. There was nothing for 
him to do; his rustic training had not fitted him for city life; there was no field for 
literary work. He was out of his element; like the fabled Antseus, he had need to 
be in contact with mother earth to find his strength. City pavements offer to such a 
bard no inspiration. He was weary of adulation; he was too independent to live 
happily at the table of Patronage. 

Dr. Lawrie warned him against the dangers of his new life. Burns replied : 

" I thank you. Sir, with all my soul for your friendly hints, though I do not need 
them so much as my friends are apt to imagine. You are dazzled with newspaper 
accounts and distant reports; but in reality, I have no great temptation to be intoxi- 
cated with the cup of prosperity." 

The Earl of Buchan advised Burns to make a pilgrimage to the chief battle-fields of 
Scotland. He replied that he wished for nothing more than a leisurely tour through 
his native land, " to fire his muse at Scottish story and Scottish scenes," but he 
declared that Wisdom, " a long-^isagfed, dry, moral-phantom," whose home was with 
Prudence, gave him different advice; and he added: 

" I must return to my humble station, and woo my rustic muse in my wonted way 
at the plough-tail." 

The same " Utopian thoughts " he expressed to Mrs. Dunlop. " The appellation 
of a Scottish bard is by far my highest pride; to continue to deserve it is my most ex- 
alted ambition. Scottish scenes and Scottish story are the themes I could wish tc 
sing. I have no dearer aim than to have it in my power, unplagued with the routine 
of business, for which Heaven knows I am unfit enough, to make leisurely pilgrim- 
ages through Caledonia; to sit on the fields of her battles; to wander on the romantic 
banks of her rivers; and to muse by the stately towers or venerable ruins once the 
honored abodes of her heroes." 

But again the idea of his true station in life comes to him; besides, he had " an 
aged mother to care for, and some other bosom ties perhaps equally tender." 

The volume appeared toward the last of April, 1787. Twenty-eight hundred 
copies were taken by subscription, and Burns's share of the profits was about five 
hundred pounds. 

This little fortune seemed to justify Burns in undertaking the pilgrimages for 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. xxvii 

which he yearned, before he should settle down to his farming again. On the fifth 
of May, in company with Robert Ainslie, he set forth iDn his " auld, ga'd gleyde o' a 
meere," for a long ride. They spent the next day, which was Sunday, at Berry Well, 
with Ainslie's family; at church Miss Ainslie tried to find the text, which was in con- 
demnation of obstinate sinners. Burns seeing it, wrote these lines on a piece of 
paper and handed them to her : 

" Fair maid, you need not take the hint, 
Nor idle texts pursue : 
'T was guilty sinners that he meant, 
Not angels such as you I " 

At Jedburgh he was presented with the freedom of the town, an honor which he 
prized much less than the privilege of a walk with Miss Isabella Lindsay, whose 
" beautiful hazel eyes " bewitched him. They rode up the Tweed and the Ettrick, 
and spent a night at Selkirk, where afterwards Scott served as Sheriff. Here they 
found some gentlemen drinking at Veitch's Inn and proposed to join them ; but 
when the landlord said that one spoke rather like a gentleman, but the other was "a 
drover-looking chap," the gentlemen declined their company, to the life-long regret 
of at least one of them. At Selkirk he wrote the rhymed epistle to his publisher, 
William Creech, beginning, "xAuld chuckie Reekie's sair distrest." 

During the trip Burns, for the first and only time, set foot on English soil. On 
the eighth of June, after a delightful trip, having " dander'd owre a' the Kintra frae 
Dumbar to Selcraig, an' fore-gather'd vv'i' mony a guid fallow an' monie a weel far'd 
hizzie," he reached his home at Mauchline. He who had left them in disgrace, came 
back the most distinguished man in Scotland. The money and the fame placed him 
in a different light. Even old Armour forgot his resentment; and this made Burns 
angry, as is seen by a letter which he dated June ii, 1787 : 

" I date this from Mauchline, where I arrived on Friday even last. If anything 
had been w^anting to disgust me completely at Armour's family, their mean, servile 
compliance would have done it." 

In this unsettled state of mind he left Mauchline toward the last of June, and went 
to the West Highlands, where he apparently found little to please him : " a country 
where savage streams tumble over savage mountains, thinly overspread with savage 
flocks, which starvingly support as savage inhabitants." At Inveraray, where he couic 
find no shelter, he composed these bitter lines : 

" Whoe'er he be that sojourns here, 
I pity much his case, 
Unless he come to wait upon 
The Lord their God, his Grace. 

There *s naething here but Highland pride. 

And Highland scab and hunger ; 
If Providence has sent me here, 

T was surely in an anger." 



xxviii BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

But later he found boon companions and the sort of wild dissipation which for a 
time caused him to forget his errors. He tells on one occasion when they danced 
till three in the morning, and how " they ranged round the bowl till the good-fellow 
hour of six." 

The next day they again ** pushed the bottle," and finding themselv^es " not ma fou 
but gaylie yet," they tried to outgallop a Highlandman who had a tolerably good 
horse. But the race ended in a bad tumble. " His horse, which had never known 
the ornaments of iron or leather, zigzagged across before my old spavin'd hunter, 
whose name was Jenny Geddes, and down came the Highlandman, horse and all, 
and down came Jenny and my hardship; so I have got such a skinful of bruises 
and wounds, that I shall be at least four weeks before I dare venture on my journey 
to Edinburgh." " I came off," he says in another letter, *' with a few cuts and 
bruises, and a thorough resolution to be a pattern of sobriety for the future." 

Unconsciously to himself he had woven a net at Mauchline which was to entangle 
him. He had renewed his intimacy with Jean Armour. It was while he was at 
Mossgiel on his return from this escapade, that he wrote his autobiographical letter 
to Dr. Moore. 

In August he returned to Edinburgh, and on the twenty-fifth of the month started 
with " a truly original but very worthy man, a Mr. Nicol, one of the masters of the 
high school in Edinburgh," on a twenty-two days' trip or *' near six hundred miles," 
through the Highlands. On the twenty-sixth he wrote : 

" This morning I knelt at the tomb of Sir John the Graham, the gallant friend of 
the immortal Wallace; and two hours ago I said a fervent prayer for Old Caledonia 
over the hole in a blue whinstone, where Robert de Bruce fixed his royal standard on 
the banks of Bannockburn; and just now, from Stirling Castle, I have seen by the 
setting sun the glorious prospect of the windings of Forth, through the rich carse of 
Stirling, and skirting the equally rich carse of Falkirk." 

He described his trip not only in various letters, but also in a jotted diary, so that 
all his steps are known. 

At Blair Athole, where he was so cordially welcomed by ** honest men and bonnie 
lasses," he left behind him the poem entitled, ** The Humble Petition of Bruar 
Water." The Earl carried out the idea, and " shaded the banks wi' tow'ring trees 
and bonnie spreading bushes." 

At Stirling he inscril^ed on the window-pane of a tavern with a recently purchased 
diamond ring these lines : 

" Here Stewarts once in glory reign'd, 
And laws for Scotland's weal ordair'd; 
But now unroof'd their palace stands, 
Their sceptre fallen to other hands; 
The injured Stewart line is gone, 
A race outlandish fills their throne : 
An idiot race, to honor lost — 
Who knows them best despise them most." 

The minister oi Gladsmuir attacked him for the treason thus expressed, and Burns 
replied with another epigram: 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. xxix 



" With Esop's lion, Burns says : — * Sore I feel 
Each other blow: but damn that ass's heel.' '* 

In October, after his return to Edinburgh, he started on another tour, this time 
with his friend Dr. Adair. 

At Clackmannan they visited Mrs. Bruce, who had the helmet and sword of the 
great chieftain, from whom she inherited it. She conferred knighthood on the two 
travellers, remarking that she had a better right to give the honor than some people 
had. At Stirling, Burns, who had been told that his treasonable lines might affect 
his prospects, broke the pane of glass, and indulged in a still bitterer epigram. 
Neither was forgotten: 

" Rash mortal, and slanderous poet, thy name 
Shall no longer appear in the records of Fame ! 
Dost not know that old Mansfield, who writes like the Bible, 
Says, the more 't is a truth, Sir, the more 't is a libel? " 

At Harvieston he enjoyed a visit to '* the accomplished " Miss Margaret Chalmers, 
whom he immortalized as Peggy in the two songs entitled '' Peggy's Charms." He 
spent two days at Ochtertyre on the Teith, surprising every one by his '' flashes of 
intellectual brightness," and visited Ochtertyre in Strathearn, where he wrote the 
poem, " On Scaring some Water-fowl in Loch Turit," and the song to Miss Euphemia 
Murray of Lintrove, known as " the Flower of Strathearn '* : 

" Blythe, blythe and merry was she, 
Blythe was she butt and ben : 
Blythe by the banks of Earn, 
And blythe in Glenturit glen." 

At Dunfermline they visited the ruined abbey, and Abbey Church, and Burns 
from the pulpit delivered a mock reproof and exhortation to Dr. Adair, mounted on 
the " cutty stool," or stool of repentance. 

Robert Bruce is buried in the churchyard, under two broad flagstones; and Burns, 
says Dr. Adair, " knelt and kissed the stone with sacred fervor, and heartily execrated 
the worse than Gothic neglect of the first of Scottish heroes." 

On his return to Edinburgh he was still undecided whether to take a farm of Mr. 
Miller, or enter into partnership with his brother Gilbert, who was, as he said, an 
excellent farmer, and, " besides, an exceedingly prudent, sober man." Creech, the 
publisher of his poems, was slow in making a settlement; there were rumors of his 
insolvency, and Burns remained in town, rooming in St. James's Square with Mr. 
William Cruickshank. 

Early in December, at the house of Miss Nimmo, he made the acquaintance of a 
Mrs. M'Lehose, ** of a somewhat voluptuous style of beauty." Her maiden name 
had been Agnes Craig; she was the daughter of a surgeon, and had been known in 
Glasgow society as *' the pretty Miss Nancy." She was married at the early age of 
seventeen to James M'Lehose, a law-agent, from whom she separated four years later. 
Her husband was in Jamaica. She was a poet. 



XXX BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

She invited Burns to take tea with her at her lodgings on the evening of Saturday, 
December 8; but a drunken coachman overset him, bruising his knees so that he 
could not stir out. Burns wrote a note expressing his chagrin. 

Mrs. M'Lehose replied that if she were his sister she would call and see him ! 
She also enclosed some verses. 

This was the beginning of a perilous friendship which ran over the sea of passion, 
though the fair widow had a kedge-anchor to windward in her intensely religious 
nature. 

The correspondence between Sylvaitder and Cla^'inda (as they sentimentally 
called themselves) is famous in the history of literature. 

Mrs. M'Lehose long outlived Burns; for thirty or forty years she was said to be in 
company five-sevenths of the time. Those who saw her in later life found her a 
short, plain, snuff-taking little woman. But to the last she worshipped the memory 
of Burns, and lived in the hope that they should meet in another sphere where "love 
is not a crime." To her Burns wrote the poem in which he called her " the fair sun 
of all her sex." 

Perhaps, if both of them had been free. Burns might have married " Clarinda, 
mistress of his soul," as he more than once wrote ; but he was even less free than he 
supposed. 

In February, 1788, Burns went for the third time to inspect Mr. Miller's farms at 
Dalswinton. On his way he stopped at Mossgiel, and had an interview with Jean 
Armour, then wrote in regard to it to his sympathizing Clarinda : 

" I, this morning as I came home, called for a certain woman. I am disgusted with 
her. I cannot endure her. I, while my heart smote me for the profanity, tried to 
compare her with my Clarinda : 't was setting the expiring glimmer of a farthing taper 
beside the cloudless glory of the meridian sun. Here was tasteless insipidity, vul- 
garity of soul, and mercenary fawning; there^ polished good sense, Heaven-born 
genius, and the most generous, the most delicate, the most tender passion. I have 
done with her, and she with me." 

In regard to the same interview he wrote more frankly to Robert Ainslie \ 

*' I have been through sore tribulation, and under much buffeting of the evil one, 
since I came to this country. Jean I found banished, like a martyr, — forlorn, destitute, 
and friendless, — all for the good old cause. I have reconciled her to her fate; I have 
reconciled her to her mother; I have taken her a room; I have taken her to my 
arms; I have given her a mahogany bed; I have given her a guinea; and I have 
embraced her till she rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory. But — as I 
always am on every occasion — I have been prudent and cautious to an astounding de- 
gree. I swore her privately and solemnly never to attempt any claim on me as a 
husband, even though anybody should persuade her she had such a claim, which she 
had not, neither during my life nor after my death. She did all this like a good girl." 

Such conduct requires no comment. It speaks for itself. He returned to Edin- 
burgh in March, and on the fourteenth of the month he wrote to Miss Chalmers that 
he had completed a bargain for the farm of EUisland on the banks of the Nith, 
between five and six miles above Dumfries. 

The birth and death of a second pair of twins seems to have changed his opinions 
in regard to Jean Armour. He made up his mind that "some sacrifices" were neces- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. xxxi 

sary for his peace of mind. On the 28th of April he wrote Mr. James Smith, "There 
is a certain clean-limbed, handsome, bewitching young hussy of your acquaintance, 
to whom I have lately and privately given a matrimonial title to my corpus." In this 
letter he first calls Jean Armour Mrs. Burns, though he adds, " 't is only her private 
designation." 

To his uncle Samuel Brown he wrote whimsically : " It would be a vain attempt 
for me to enumerate the various transactions I have been engaged in since I saw you 
last; but this know, I engaged in a smuggling trade, and God knows if ever any poor 
man experienced better returns — two for one; but as freight and delivery have 
turned out so dear, I am thinking of taking out a license and beginning in fair trade. 
I have taken a farm on the borders of the Nith, and, in imitation of the old patri- 
archs, get men-servants and maid-servants, and flocks and herds, and beget sons and 
daughters." 

In June he wrote to Mrs. Dunlop from Ellisland, telling her how busy he was 
building his farmhouse, digging foundations, carting stones and lime, and dwelling 
"a solitary inmate of an old, smoky spence; far from every object I love, or by whom 
I am beloved; nor any acquaintance older than yesterday, except Jenny Geddes, the 
old mare I ride on; while uncouth cares and novel plans hourly insult my awkward 
ignorance and bashful inexperience." In this letter he confirmed her suspicions that 
he was a husband. 

Of his wife he says : 

"The most placid good-nature and sweetness of disposition; a warm heart, grate- 
fully devoted with all its powers to love me; vigorous health and sprightly cheerfulness, 
set off to the best advantage by a more than commonly handsome figure; these, I 
think, in a woman, may make a good wife, though she should never have read a page 
but the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, nor have danced in a brighter 
assembly than a penny pay wedding." 

Less than a month later Burns and his wife appeared before the Kirk Session and 
publicly "acknowledged their irregular marriage and their sorrow for their irregu- 
larity." The Session agreed that they should both be rebuked and "be solemnly 
engaged to adhere faithfully to one another as man and wife all the days of their 
life." 

While he was building his house and qualifying for his position on the Excise, to 
which he had been appointed, he left his wife at Mauchline and dwelt alone at Ellis- 
land. It was in the Honeymoon; and, as Burns says, here he wrote those beautiful 
songs to his Jean ; 

" Of a' the airts the wind can blaw 
I dearly like the west. 
For there the bonie lassie lives. 
The lassie I lo'e best;" 
and 

" O, were I on Parnassus hill." 

Burns's letters during this time are filled with curious contradictions. He tells 
Mrs. Dunlop that he might easily fancy a more agreeable companion for his journey 



xxxii BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

of life. He writes Mr. Bengo that his choice was as random as blind-man's buff. He 
writes Miss Chalmers : 

" Shortly after my last return to Ayrshire I married * My Jean.* This was not in con- 
sequence of the attachment of romance, perhaps; but I had a long and much loved 
fellow-creature's happiness or misery in my determination, and I durst not trifle with 
so important a deposit. Nor have I any cause to repent it. If I have not got polite 
tattle, modish manners, and fashionable dress, I am not sickened and disgusted with 
the multiform curse of boarding-school affectation; and I have got the handsomest 
figure, the sweetest temper, the soundest constitution, and the kindest heart in the 
county." 

In November he wrote to Dr. Blacklock : 

*'I am more and more pleased with the step I took respecting *My Jean.* Two 
things, from my happy experience, I set down as apophthegms in life, — A wife's head 
is immaterial compared with her heart; and, * Virtue's (for wisdom, what poet pre- 
tends to it?) ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.' " 

In December Jean appeared upon the scene, bringing her household belongings, 
including a four-post bedstead, a gift from Mrs. Dunlop, and a faithful servant-maid 
named EHzabeth Smith. He welcomed her with the poem beginning, "I hae a wife 
o' my ain." 

The house was small, but Burns was on the whole content. This was the 
happiest period of his life. He was comparatively regular in his habits, though 
his poem of " The Whistle " shows that he occasionally indulged in the intoxicating 
bowl after the universal custom of the day. He became interested in the local 
li1)rary, for which he ordered the Spectator, the Loiiiiger, Religictis Pieces, and 
other works from Edinburgh ; and he still took an interest in theological matters, 
as is proved by his satire entitled, "The Kirk's Alarm," occasioned by an heretical 
work by Pastor IMcGill. 

The first year at EUisland was fairly successful. The crops turned out well; 
Major Dunlop sent him a present of a heifer; Mr. John Tennant forwarded to 
him a cask of whiskey; he was in frequent correspondence with his friends. 

In the summer of 1790 Captain Francis Grose, an English antiquary, visited 
Scotland and made Burns's acquaintance. To him was indirectly due the tale of 
" Tam o' Shanter," that famous " masterpiece of Scottish character, Scottish humor, 
Scottish witchlore, and Scottish imagination." This piece. Burns declared, was 
" his standard performance in the poetical line." 

In the same j'^ar Samuel Egerton Brydges, the poet, visited Burns at Ellis- 
land. He wrote : 

" At first I was not entirely pleased with his countenance. I thought it had a sort 
of capricious jealousy, as if he was half inclined to treat me as an intruder. I 
resolved to bear it, and try if I could humor him. I let him choose his turn of 
conversation, but said a word about the friend whose letter I had brought to him. 
It was now about four o'clock in the afternoon of an autumn day. While we 
were talking, Mrs. Burns, as if accustomed to entertain visitors in this way, 
brought in a bottle of Scotch whiskey, and set the table. I accepted this hospitality. 
I could not help observing the curious glance with which he watched me at the en- 
trance of this sequel of homely entertainment. He was satisfied; he filled our glasses. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. xxxiii 

"* Here's a health to Auld Caledonia.' The fire sparkled in his eye, and 
mine sympathetically met his. He shook my hands, and we were friends at 
once. Then he drank * Erin forever,' and the tear of delight burst from his eye. 
The fountain of his mind and his heart opened at once, and flowed with abundant 
force almost till midnight. 

** He had amazing acuteness of intellect, as well as glow of sentiment. I do 
not deny that he said some absurd things and many coarse ones, and that his 
knowledge was very irregular, and sometimes too presumptuous ; and that he did 
not endure contradiction with sufficient patience. His pride, and perhaps his 
vanity, was even morbid. I carefully avoided topics in which he could not take an 
active part. Of literary gossip he knew nothing, and, therefore, kept aloof from 
it; in the technical parts of literature, his opinions were crude and unformed; 
but whenever he spoke of a great writer whom he had read, his taste was gen- 
erally sound. To a few minor writers he gave more credit than they deserved. 
His grand beauty was his manly strength and his energy and elevation of thought 
and feeling. He had always a full mind, and all flowed from a genuine spring. I 
never conversed with a man who appeared to be more warmly impressed with 
the beauties of Nature; and visions of female beauty and tenderness seemed to 
transport him. He did not merely appear to be a poet at casual intervals, but 
at every moment a poetical enthusiasm seemed to beat in his veins; and he 
lived all his days the inward, if not the outward, life of a poet." 

In order to enable his brother Gilbert to remain at Mossgiel, Burns advanced 
him one hundred and eighty pounds : the rest of the small fortune made by his 
poems was gradually sunk in the unsuccessful conduct of the farm. 

He had been appointed Exciseman; and his duties, on a salary of fifty 
pounds a year, " condemned " him, as he expressed it, to " galop " over ten parishes 
"at least two hundred miles every week, to inspect dirty ponds and yeasty barrels." 
These absences, and frequent attacks of illness; a lame knee and a broken arm, 
occasioned by a fall "not from but v/ith " his horse; **an omnipotent toothache," 
were not to the advantage of farming. A deranged nervous system, resulting in 
incessant headache, kept him ill all the following winter. 

He determined to relinquish his " curst farm " ; and as Mr. Miller was willing 
to free him from his lease, he gave it up. Toward the last of July, 1791, he 
sold his crops at an average of a guinea an acre above value. Burns writing about it 
to a friend, said : 

" But such a scene of drunkenness was hardly ever seen in this country. After 
the roup was over, about thirty people engaged in a battle, every man for his 
own hand, and fought it out for three hours. Nor was the scene much better 
in the house. No fighting indeed, but the folks lying drunk on the floor, and 
decanting, until both my dogs got so drunk by attending on them, that they 
could not stand. You will easily guess how I enjoyed the scene, as I was no 
farther over than you used to see me." 

In November he was appointed excise-officer for the district of Dumfries, at a 
salary of seventy pounds a year, and the hope of being promoted to be supervisor 
at a salary of two hundred pounds. 

H« sold off his stock and farming implements, and moved to a small house 



xxxiv BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

in the Wee Vermel of Dumfries. The thought of Burns at the plough awakens 9 
pleasurable picture ; we remember his poem to the Mountain Daisy, and the Field 
Mouse. But Burns as a gauger of ardent spirits is pathetic ; it connects him too 
directly with the indecent wit and vulgar lowness of "The Jolly Beggars"; that 
move was a step toward his ruin. 

While Mrs. Burns was visiting in Ayrshire, Burns himself was still lingering at 
Ellisland, and for no good. Annie Park, the fair niece of the hostess of the Globe 
Tavern, had met his eye. To her he wrote the song, " The Gowden Locks of Anna," 
with its impudent, reckless postscript. The price of that song was a soul. When 
Burns tried to get his brother to take the helpless babe, who was born of his intrigue, 
Mrs. Burns, with characteristic magnanimity, insisted on adopting the little girl, and 
became very fond of her. She was the image of her father; she made an excellent 
marriage, and lived till within a few years ago. 

Before he settled in Dumfries, Burns visited Edinburgh for the last time, and 
saw his beloved " Clarinda," with whom he had kept up an infrequent corre- 
spondence. She was about to sail for Jamaica to join her *' repentant but worth- 
less husband." This episode gave rise to the songs : " Aince Mair I hail thee, 
thou Gloomy December," " Behold the Hour, the Boat arrive," " Ae Fond Kiss 
and then we sever," and " My Name's Awa'." Burns wrote her that whenever he 
was called upon to give a toast, he regularly proposed, " Mrs. Mac," or " Clarinda," 
though he kept them all in the dark as to whom he meant by it. 

Fortunately, Mrs. Burns was not a jealous woman; for her husband's susceptible 
heart, not " vitrified " as he once feared it was, found constant fuel in Dumfries. 

In August, 1792, he wrote Mrs. Dunlop that he was "in love, souse ! over head 
and ears, deep as the most unfathomable abyss of the boundless ocean," with her 
neighbor, Miss Lesley Baillie. The young lady, on her way to England with her 
father and sister, called on him. Burns rode fourteen or fifteen miles with them, and 
on his way back composed the song : 

" O, saw ye bonie Lesley 
As she gaed o'er the border : ** 

a sort of parody on the old ballad : 

" My bonnie Lieie Baillie, 
I *11 rowe thee in my plaidie." 

The very next month Mr. George Thomson, clerk to the Board of Trustees for 
the Encouragement of Manufactures in Scotland, who was interested in publishing a 
collection of Scots songs, wrote to enlist Burns in his scheme. Burns replied that he 
would do so on three conditions : that he should not be hurried (was not his crest a 
slow-worm supported by two sloths, and his motto " De'il tak' the Foremost"?); 
that he need not be expected to write English verses; and that he should not be 
paid for them. 

Mr. Thomson's work was published in 1801-2; and Burns, in the course of four 
years, contributed at least a hundred songs ! Once five pounds was sent to him, and 
Burns replied, " I assure you, my dear sir, that you truly hurt me with your pecuniary 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. xxxv 

parcel. It degrades me in my own eyes ! " and he threatened that " any more traffic 
of that debtor and creditor kind " would break off their friendship. He so loved the 
work that he felt that any talk of money, wages, fee, hire, and such like would be 
downright " prostitution of soul " ! 

He seems to have made an effort to cure himself of hard drinking. In December 
he wrote Mrs. Dunlop : 

** As to myself, I am better, though not quite free of my complaint. You must 
not think, as you seem to insinuate, that in my way of life I want exercise. Of that I 
have enough; but occasionally hard drinking is the devil to me. Against this I have 
again and again bent my resolution, and have greatly succeeded. Taverns I have 
totally abandoned : it is the private parties in the family way, among the hard-drink- 
ing gentlemen of this country, that do me the mischief; but even this I have more 
than half given over." 

Dumfries was then, says Chalmers, " a great stage on the road from England to 
the North of Ireland." Visitors were apt to send for Burns to meet them and drink 
with them. He had not the will-power to resist. Early one summer morning one 
of his neighbors just getting to work received a visit from him as he was staggering 
home from some such debauch. The poet said : 

" O George ! you are a happy man. You have risen from refreshing sleep and left 
a kind wife and children, while I am returning, a self-condemned wretch, to mine ! " 

Yet he was not neglectful of his duties. In February, 1792, a contraband brig was 
discovered in Solway Frith. Burns sent for a squad of dragoons, put himself at 
their head, and was the first to board her. In spite of superior numbers opposed to 
him, he made himself master of her: the brig was next day sold with all her 
contents. 

While his messenger, a man named Lewars, was gone for the dragoons. Burns 
composed the poem, " The De'il's Awa'." 

** The De'il cam' fiddling thro' the town. 
And danc'd awa' wi' the Exciseman." 

In spite of such zeal he had ruined his chances — slim though they were — of 
becoming a supervisor. In the preceding December the Board was ordered to 
inquire into his poHtical conduct; and he wrote a pitiful appeal to Mr. Robert 
Graham, not so much for himself as in behalf of " the much-loved wife of his bosom 
and his helpless, prattling little ones," hkely to be " turned adrift into the world, 
degraded and disgraced." He declared that the attack upon him arose from "the 
damned dark insinuations of hellish, groundless envy." 

Yet there was some ground for suspicion of him. It was known that he looked 
with favor on the Revolutionary party in France; that he had sent to the French 
Convention a present of four small cannon, for which he paid three pounds. At a 
dinner party, when the toast to Pitt was proposed, Burns gave *' the health of George 
Washington, a better man." In his cups he indulged in sarcasms and rampant 
radicalism. Epigrams of his were in circulation. For such a man promotion was 
out of the question. At one time the good people of Dumfries even refused to recog- 
nize him on the street. 

At heart he was sound enough. He wrote to Mr. Graham; "To the British 



xxxvi BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 



Constitution, on revolution principles, next after my God, I am most devoutly at- 
tached; '" and when there seemed to be some danger of a French invasion, he 
published in the Dujnfries Journal (May 5, 1795) the immensely popular song 
"Does Haughty Gaul Invasion Threat? " He also joined the Dumfries volunteers, 
and wore the uniform of kersey breeches, blue coat, and round hat. 

In July, 1793, Burns, in company with Mr. Syme, stamp distributor, made an 
excursion into Galloway, and, during a thunder storm on the wilds of Kenmore, 
composed his famous song, " Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled." 

At Whitsuntide of this year he had moved his family into a larger and better 
house in the Mill-hole Brae, afterward named Burns Street. The rent was eight 
pounds a year. 

During all these months he was constantly inspired to compose songs for Mr. 
Thomson's collection. 

Among the fair ladies in whose honor he wrote, was ]Miss Jean Lorimer, whom he 
celebrated in a dozen songs under the name of Chloris, because of her light flaxen 
hair : " Lassie wi' the Lint-white Locks " is one of the most popular of them. Still 
another was Mrs. Lucy Oswald, of Ayrshire, on whom he wrote the song beginning : 

" O, wat ye wha 's in yon town. 
Ye see the e'enin' sun upon? 
The dearest maid 's in yon town 
That e'enin' sun is shining on." 

Still another was Mrs. Maria Riddell, of Woodley Park, only eighteen, and, like 
Clarinda, a poet. Burns called her " the most amiable of her sex." She and her 
husband made Burns welcome at their table. On one occasion, when all the men 
had been drinking (as usual) heavily. Burns went with the rest to the drawing-room, 
and, entirely forgetting himself, marched up to his hostess and kissed her on the lips. 
The scene may be imagined ! The next morning he wrote to her a most abject letter 
of apology, in which he says : 

*'If I could in any measure be reinstated in the good opinion of the fair circle 
whom my conduct last night so much injured, I think it would be an alleviation to my 
torments. For this reason I trouble you with this letter. To the men of the com- 
pany I will make no apology. Your husband, who insisted on my drinking more than 
I chose, has no right to blame me; and the other gentlemen were partakers of my 
guilt. But to you. Madam, I have much to apologize. Your good opinion I valued 
as one of the greatest acquisitions I had made on earth', and I was truly a beast to 
forfeit it." 

Captain Riddell never forgave Burns. He died a few months later. Unfor- 
tunately, Burns, exasperated at what he considered unfair treatment, wrote several 
cruel epigrams upon ]\Irs. Riddell, which he afterward deeply regretted. 

Even such a severe warning had no lasting effect upon him, nor the fact that he 
saw his health was failing. On December 29, 1795, he wrote Mrs. Dunlop : "Very 
lately I was a boy; but t' other day I was a young man; and I already begin to feel 
the rigid fibre and stiffening joints of old age coming fast over my frame." Other 
letters presage his early death. 

In the following January he stayed late at the tavern with boon companions, per- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. xxxvii 

haps trying to drown his sorrow at the recent loss of his daughter, his " sweet little 
girl." On his way home he was overcome with drowsiness, sat down in the snow, and 
fell asleep. The exposure brought on an attack of rheumatic fever, which kept him 
in bed all the rest of the winter, and ended in what he dreaded — in "flying gout, — 
a sad business." 

Even in June he wrote Mrs. Riddell, who had gradually restored to him her 
favor : 

" Racked as I am with rheumatisms, I meet every face with a greeting like that of 
Balak to Balaam: 'Come, curse me Jacob; and come, defy Israel!' So say I: 
Come, curse me that east wind; and come, defy me the north ! Would you have me 
in such circumstances copy you out a love-song? " 

On the fourth of July he was taken to Brow on the Solway, where Mrs. Riddell 
was staying. She called upon him and saw that " the stamp of death was imprinted 
on his features. He seemed already touching the brink of eternity." 

His first greeting was, " Well, Madam, have you any commands for the other 
world?" She wrote these details to a friend of hers, and told how anxious Burns 
seemed about his family, and how concerned about the care of his literary fame. 
He wished that such letters and verses as had been written with unguarded and 
improper freedom might be burned in oblivion. 

" He lamented," she wrote, " that he had written many epigrams on persons 
against whom he entertained no enmity, and whose characters he should be sorry 
to wound; and many indifferent poetical pieces, which he feared would now, with all 
their imperfections on their head, be thrust upon the world." 

On the seventh of July he wrote to Mr. Cunningham urging him to use his influence 
that his full salary might be paid him while he was on the sick-list, — his salary as 
Exciseman being reduced, while off duty, to ;^35 instead of ;^50. ^ 

Less than a week later he wrote his cousin, Mr. James Burness, appealing for 
assistance. His cousin immediately sent him ten pounds, and afterward offered to 
bring up and educate his son Robert. 

Then he put his pride into his pocket, and " implored " Mr. G. Thomson for five 
pounds, promising, if he recovered, to furnish him with " five pounds' worth of the 
neatest song genius " he had seen. That morning he wrote his last song : 

" Fairest maid on Devon banks, 
Crystal Devon, winding Devon, 
Wilt thou lay that frown aside, 

And smile as thou wert wont to do? '* 

On the eighteenth he returned to Dumfries in a small spring cart. ^ When he 
alighted, he could not stand. He immediately wrote his father-in-law — it was his 
last letter : 

" Do, for Heaven's sake, send Mrs. Armour here immediately. My wife is hourly 
expecting to be put to bed. Good God ! what a situation for her to be in, poor girl, 
without a friend ! I returned from sea-bathing quarters to-day, and my medical 
friends would almost persuade me that I am better; but I think and feel that my 
strength is so gone that the disorder will prove fatal to me." 



xxxviii BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

His children were sent to the house of Mr. Lewars. Miss Jessie Levvars, of 
whom he had written some of his sweetest songs, was sleepless in her attendance 
upon him. 

On the twenty-first he became delirious. His children were allowed to see him 
for the last time. He died (July 21, 1796), with an execration upon the legal agent 
whose threats had troubled him. 

On the evening of July 25 his remains were taken to the Town Hall, and the 
funeral was conducted on the following day. Several regiments of infantry and cav- 
alry assisted in the obsequies, which were solemn and impressive. A long procession 
marched between rows of military to the sound of the Dead March in Saul. Three 
volleys were fired over the grave. 

During the service Burns's posthumous son, Maxwell, was born — a pathetic 
incident. 

Burns himself predicted that he should be better understood a hundred years later. 
He had not to wait a hundred years. 

Henry MacKenzie, author of " The Man of Feeling," in an article in the Lou^igevy 
early compared him to Shakspere; not in range of genius, but in magnanimity and 
unaffected character, in vigor and power. Hazlitt, who uses almost precisely the 
same words, says in addition: "He was as much of a man, not the twentieth part of 
a poet, as Shakspere. . . . He had an eye to see, a heart to feel — no more. His 
strength is not greater than his weakness; his virtues were greater than his vices; 
his virtues belonged to his genius; his vices to his situation, which did not correspond 
to his genius." 

Lord Jeffrey predicted that the name of Burns would endure long after the circum- 
stances that contributed to its notoriety were forgotten. 

A writer in the Universal Magazine in 1809 said: "He dipt his pencil in the 
living tints of Nature. . . . I,ike Shakspere, the current of his inspiration was un- 
checked by the cold niceties of critical perfection; it flowed impetuously onward, 
sometimes spreading into magnificence and beauty; sometimes meandering in peace- 
ful murmurs, and sometimes rushing with sublime energy over precipices and rocks, 
forming the thundering cataracts or the eddying whirlpool." 

Mrs. Oliphant declares : " Not even for a second Shakspere could we let go our 
Burns; " and she adds: "If ever man was anointed and consecrated to a special 
work in this world, for which all his antecedents, all his training, all his surrounding 
circumstances, combined to fit him, Robert Burns was that man," 

Carlyle called him " a rugged Saxon brother, one of the strongest, noblest men — 
a Scottish Thor, a true Peasant-Thunder-God." 

Almost all men have given equally high tribute to Burns. He is the idol of the 
Scotch; his poems, next to the Bible, are their consolation and delight. 

In the splendor of their richness, Burns's faults are almost forgotten, or are taken 
as a lesson. They were the faults of his age. Burns left in his own writings the ideal 
to which he would fain have reached. Let us judge him by that. 

Nathan Haskell Dole. 



POEMS OF ROBERT BURNS. 



KILMARNOCK 1786, 



THE TWA DOGS. 

A Tale 

[According to Gilbert Burns, the tale 
of " The Twa Dogs " was " composed after 
the resolution of publishing was nearly 
taken." During the night before the death 
of William Burness, Robert's favorite dog, 
Luath, was killed by some person unknown. 
Caesar was merely the creature of the poet's 
imagination. It was Luath's successor, 
whose appearance at the " penny dance " 
at Mauchline led Burns to remark that " he 
wished he could get any of the lasses to 
like him as well as his dog did."] 

'T WAS in that place o' Scotland's isle 
That bears the name of auld King 

Coil, 
Upon a bonie day in June, 
When wearing thro' the afternoon, 
Twa dogs, that were na thrang at 

hame, 
Forgathered ance upon a time. 

The first I '11 name, they ca'd him 

Ccesar, 
Was keepit for ^ his Honor's ' pleasure : 
His hair, his size, his mouth, his lugs, 
Shewed he was nane o' Scotland's 

dogs; 
But whalpit some place far abroad, 
Whare sailors gang to fish for cod. 

His locked, lettered, braw brass collar 



Shew'd him 
scholar ; 



the 



gentleman 



an' 



But tho' he was o' high degree, 
The fient a pride, nae pride had he ; 
But wad hae spent an hour caressin, 
Ev'n wi' a tinkler-gipsy's messin ; 
At kirk or market, mill or smiddie, 
Nae tawted tyke, tho' e'er sae duddie. 
But he wad stan't, as glad to sec him, 
An' stroan't on stanes an' hillocks wi' 
him. 

The tither was a ploughman's coilie, 
A rhyming, ranting, raving billie, 
Wha for his friend an' comrade had 

him. 
And in his freaks had Luath ca'd 

him. 
After some dog in Highland sang. 
Was made lang syne — Lord knows 

how lang. 

He was a gash an' faithfu' tyke, 
As ever lap a sheugh or dyke. 
His honest, sonsie, baws'nt face 
Ay gat him friends in ilka place ; 
His breast was white, his tousie back 
Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black ; 
His gavvsie tail, wi' upward curl, 
Hung owre his hurdles wi' a swirl. 

Nae doubt but they were fain o^ 

ither, 
And unco pack an' thick thegither; 
Wi' social nose whyles snuff'd an' 

snowkit ; 
Whyles mice an' moudieworts they 

howkit; 



THE TWA DOGS. 



Whyles scour'd awa' in lang excursion, 
An' worry'd ither in diversion ; 
Till tir'd at last wi' monie a farce. 
They sat them down upon their arse, 
An' there began a lang digression 
About the 'lords o' the creation.' 

CZESAR. 

I Ve aften wonder'd, honest Luath, 
What sort o' life poor dogs like you 

have ; 
An' when the gentry's life I saw, 
What way poor bodies liv'd ava. 

Our laird gets in his racked rents, 
His coals, his kain, an' a' his stents : 
He rises when he likes himsel ; 
His flunkies answer at the bell ; 
He ca's his coach ; he ca's his horse ; 
He draws a bonie silken purse. 
As lang's my tail, whare, thro' the 

steeks. 
The yellow lettered Geordie keeks. 

Frae morn to e'en it's nought but 
toiling. 
At baking, roasting, frying, boiling ; 
An' tho' the gentry first are stechin, 
Yet ev'n the ha' folk fill their pechan 
Wi' sauce, ragouts, and sic like trash- 
trie, 
That 's little short o' downright was- 

trie : 
Our whipper-in, wee, blastit wonner. 
Poor, worthless elf, it eats a dinner. 
Better than onie tenant-man 
His Honor has in a' the Ian' ; 
An' what poor cot-folk pit their painch 

in, 
I own it's past my comprehension. 

LUATH. 

Trowth, Caesar, whyles they Ve fash't 
eneugh : 
A cotter howkin in a sheugh, 
Wi' dirty stanes biggin a dyke, 
Baring a quarry, an" sic like ; 
Himsel, a wife, he thus sustains, 
A smytrie o' wee duddie weans, 



An' nought but his han' darg to keep 
Them right an' tight in thack an' 
rape. 

An' when they meet wi' sair disas- 
ters, 

Like loss o' health or want o' mas- 
ters, 

Ye maist wad think, a wee touch 
langer. 

An' they maun starve o' cauld and 
hunger : 

But how it comes, I never kend yet. 

They're maistly wonderfu' contented ; 

An' buirdly chiels, an' clever hizzies. 

Are bred in sic a way as this is. 

CiESAR. 

But then to see how ye Ve negleckit, 
How huif 'd, an' cuff'd, an' disrespec- 

kit! 
Lord man, our gentry care as little 
For delvers, ditchers, an' sic cattle ; 
They gang as saucy by poor folk, 
As I wad by a stinking brock. 

I 've notic'd, on our laird's court- 
day, 

(An' monie a time my heart 's been 
wae). 

Poor tenant bodies, scant o' cash. 

How they maun thole a factor's snash : 

He '11 stamp an' threaten, curse an' 
swear 

He'll apprehend them, poind their 
gear; 

While they maun staun', wi' aspect 
humble. 

An' hear it a', an' fear an' tremble ! 

I see how folk live that hae riches ; 
But surely poor-folk maun be wretches ! 

LUATH. 

They 're nae sae wretched 's ane 
wad think : 
Tho' constantly on poortith's brink, 
They 're sae accustom'd wi' the sights 
The view o ' t gies them little fright. 



THE TWA DOGS. 



Then chance an' fortune are sae 
guided, 
They 're ay in less or mair provided ; 
An' tho' fatigu'd wi' close employment, 
A blink o' rest 's a sweet enjoyment. 

The dearest comfort o' their lives, 
Their grushie v/eans an' faithfu' wives ; 
The prattling things are just their 

pride, 
That sweetens a' their lire-side. 

An' whyles tw^alpennie worth o' 
nappy 
Can mak the bodies unco happy : 
They lay aside their private cares, 
To mind the Kirk and State affairs ; 
They '11 talk o' patronage an' priests, 
Wi' kindling fury i' their breasts, 
Or tell what new taxation 's comin, 
An' ferlie at the folk in Lon'on. 

As bleak-fac'd Hallow mass returns, 
They get the jovial, ranting kirns. 
When rural life, of ev'ry station, 
Unite in common recreation; 
Love blinks, Wit slaps, an' social 

Mirth 
Forgets there's Care upo' the earth. 

That merry day the year begins, 
They bar the door on frosty win's ; 
The nappy reeks wi' mantling ream, 
An' sheds a heart-inspiring steam ; 
The luntin pipe, an' sneeshin mill, 
Are handed round wi' right guid will ; 
The cantie auld folks crackin crouse. 
The young anes ranting thro' the 

house — 
My heart has been sae fain to see them, 
That I for joy hae barkit wi' them. 

Still it 's owre true that ye hae said 
Sic game is now owre aften play'd ; 
There 's monie a creditable stock 
O' decent, honest, fawsont folk. 
Are riven out baith root an' branch, 
Some rascal's pridefu' greed to quench, 
Wha thinks to knit himsel the faster 
In favor wi' some gentle master. 



Wha, aiblins thrang a parliamentin ', 
For Britain's guid his saul indent- 



in' 



C^SAR. 

Haith, lad, ye little ken about it : 
For Britain's guid! guid faith! I doubt 

it. 
Say rather, gaun as Premiers lead him : 
An' saying aye or no 's they bid him : 
At operas an' plays parading, 
Mortgaging, gambling, masquerad- 
ing: 
Or maybe, in a frolic daft. 
To Hague or Calais taks a waft, 
To mak a tour an' tak a whirl. 
To learn bon ton^ an' see the worl'. 

There, at Vienna or Versailles, 
He rives his father's auld entails ; 
Or by Madrid he taks the rout. 
To thrum guitars an' fecht wi' nowt ; 
Or down Italian vista startles. 
Whore-hunting amang groves o' myr- 
tles 
Then bowses drumlie German-water, 
To mak himsel look fair an' fatter, 
An' clear the consequential sorrows, 
Love-gifts of Carnival signoras. 

For Britain's guid! for her destruc- 
tion! 
Wi' dissipation, feud an' faction. 

LUATH. 

Hech man! dear sirs! is that the 
gate 
They waste sae monie a braw estate ! 
Are we sae foughten an' harass'd 
For gear ta gang that gate at last ? 

O would they stay aback frae courts. 
An' please themsels wi' countra sports. 
It wad for ev'ry ane be better. 
The laird, the tenant, an' the cotter ! 
Fort hae frank, rantin, ramblin billies, 
Fienthaeto' them's ill-hearted fellows : 
Except for breakin o' their timmer. 
Or speakin lightly o' their hmmer, 



SCOTCH DRINK. 



Or shootin of a hare or moor-cock, 
The ne'er-a-bit they're ill to poor folk. 

But will ye tell me, master Caesar : 
Sure great folk's life's a life o' pleasure ? 
Nae cauld nor hunger e'er can steer 

them, 
The vera thought o ' t need na fear 

them. 

C/ESAR. 

Lord, man, were ye but whyles 
whare I am, 
The gentles, ye wad ne'er envy 'em ! 

It's true, they need na starve or 

sweat. 
Thro' winter's cauld, or simmer's 

heat; 
They 've nae sair wark to craze their 

banes, 
An' fill auld-age wi' grips an' granes : 
But human bodies are sic fools, 
For a' their colleges an' schools. 
That when nae real ills perplex them. 
They mak enow themsels to vex 

them; 
An' ay the less they hae to sturt 

them. 
In hke proportion, less will hurt them. 

A countra fellow at the pleugh. 
His acre 's tilPd, he 's right eneugh ; 
A countra girl at her wheel. 
Her dizzen 's done, she 's unco weel ; 
But gentlemen, an' ladies warst, 
Wi' ev'n down want o' wark are curst : 
They loiter, lounging, lank an' lazy ; 
Tho' deil-haet ails them, yet uneasy : 
Their days insipid, dull an' tasteless ; 
Their nights unquiet, lang an' restless. 

An' ev'n their sports, their balls 

an' races, 

Their galloping through public places. 

There 's sic parade, sic pomp an' art. 

The joy can scarcely reach the heart. 

The men cast out in party-matches, 
Then sowther a' in deep debauches ; 



Ae night they're mad wi' drink an' 

whoring, 
Niest day their life is past enduring. 

The ladies arm-in-arm in clusters, 

As great an' gracious a' as sisters ; 

But hear their absent thoughts o' 
it her. 

They 're a' run deils an' jads thegither. 

Whyles, owre the wee bit cup an' 
platie, 

They sip the scandal-potion pretty ; 

Or lee-lang nights, wi' crabbit leuks 

Pore owre the devil's pictur'd beuks ; 

Stake on a chance a farmer's stack- 
yard. 

An' cheat like onie unhang'd black- 
guard. 

There 's some exceptions, man an' 
woman ; 
But this is Gentry's life in common. 

By this, the sun was out o' sight, 
An' darker gloamin brought the 

night ; 
The bum-clock humm'd wi' lazy 

drone ; 
The kye stood rowtin i' the loan ; 
When up they gat, an' shook their 

Rejoic'd they were na me7i^ but dogs'^ 
An' each took aff his several way, 
Resolv'd to meet some ither day. 



SCOTCH DRINK. 

Gie him strong drink until he wink, 

That 's sinking i?z despair ; 
An liquor guid to fire his bluid, 

That 's prest wi' grief an care : 
There let him bowse, and deep carouse, 

Wt bumpers flowing o'er, 
Till he forgets his loves or debts. 

An minds his griefs no more. 
— Solomon's Proverbs, xxxi. 6, 7. 

[Composed some time between the be- 
ginning of November, 1785, and Feb. 17, 
1786. The metre is that of Fergusson's 



SCOTCH DRINK. 



" Cauler Water," of which " Scotch Drink " 
is a kind of parody.] 



Let other poets raise a frdcas 

'Bout vines, an^ wines, an' drucken 

Bacchus, 
An' crabbit names an' stories wrack 
us, 

An' grate our lug : 
I sing the juice Scotch bear can mak 
us, 

In glass or jug. 

II. 

O thou, my Muse ! guid auld Scotch 

drink! 
Whether thro' wimplin worms thou 

jink, 
Or, richly brown, ream owre the brink. 

In glorious faem. 
Inspire me, till I lisp an' wink. 
To sing thy name ! 

III. 

Let husky wheat the haughs adorn. 
An" aits set up their awnie horn, 
An' pease an' beans, at e'en or morn, 

Perfume the plain : 
Leeze me on thee, John Barleycorn, 

Thou king o^ grain ! 

IV. 

On thee aft Scotland chows her cood. 
In souple scones, the wale o' food ! 
Or tumbling in the boiling flood 

Wi* kail an' beef; 
But when thou pours thy strong 
heart's blood. 

There thou shines chief. 



V. 

Food fills the w^ame. an' keeps us livin ; 
Tho' life 's a gift no worth receivin. 
When heavy-dragg'd wi' pine an' 

But oird bv thee. 



The wheels o' life gae down-hill, 
scrievin, 

Wi' rattlin glee. 



VI. 

Thou clears the head o' doited Lear, 
Thou cheers the heart o' drooping 

Care ; 
Thou strings the nerves o' Labour 
sair, 

. At 's weary toil ; 
Thou ev'n brightens dark Despair 
Wi' gloomy smile. 



VII. 

Aft, clad in massy siller weed, 
Wi' gentles thou erects thy head ; 
Yet, humbly kind in time o' need, 

The poor man's wine : 
His wee drap parritch, or his bread, 

Thou kitchens fine. 

VIII. 

Thou art the life o' public haunts : 
But thee, what were our fairs and 

rants ? 
Ev'n godly meetings o' the saunts, 

By thee inspir'd, 
When, gaping, they besiege the tents, 

Are doubly fir'd. 

IX. 

That merry night we get the corn in, 
O sweetly, then, thou reams the horn 

in! 
Or reekin on a New-Year mornin 

In cog or bicker. 
An' just a wee drap sp'ritual burn in, 

An' gusty sucker ! 

X. 

When Vulcan gies his bellows breath. 
An' ploughmen gather wV their graith, 
O rare ! to see thee fizz an' freath 

r th' lugget caup ! 
Then Burnewin comes on like death 

At ev'ry chaup. 



SCOTCH DRINK. 



XI. 

Nae mercy, then, for airn or steel : 
The brawnie, painie, ploughman chiel, 
Brings hard owrehip, wi' sturdy wheel, 

The strong forehammer, 
Till block an' studdie ring an' reel, 

Wi' dinsome clamour. 

XII. 

When skirlin weanies see the light. 
Thou maks the gossips clatter bright, 
How fumbling cuifs their dearies 
slight ; 

Wae worth the name ! 
Nae howdie gets a social night, 
Or plack frae them. 

XIII. 

When neebors anger at a plea. 
An' just as wud as wud can be, 
How easy can the barley-brie 

Cement the quarrel ! 
It 's aye the cheapest lawyer's fee, 

To taste the barrel. 

XIV. 

Alake ! that e'er my Muse has reason, 
To wyte her countrymen wi' treason ! 
But monie daily weet their weason 

Wi' liquors nice, 
An' hardly, in a winter season, 

E'er spier her price. 

XV. 

Wae worth that brandy,.burnin trash ! 
Fell source o' monie a pain an' brash ! 
Twins monie a poor, doylt, drucken 
hash, 

O' half his days ; 
An' sends, beside, auld Scotland's 
cash 

To her warst faes. 

XVI. 

Ye Scots, wha wish auld Scotland 

well ! 
Ye chief, to you my tale I tell. 



Poor, plackless devils like mysel ! 

It sets you ill, 
Wi' bitter, dearthfu' wines to mell. 



Or foreign gill. 



XVII. 



May gravels round his blather wrench, 
An' gouts torment him, inch by inch, 
Wha twists his gruntle wi' a glunch 

O' sour disdain. 
Out owre a glass o' whisky-punch 

Wi' honest men ! 

XVIII. 

O Whisky ! soul o' plays an' pranks ! 
Accept a Bardie's gratefu' thanks ! 
When wanting thee, what tuneless 
cranks 

Are my poor verses ! 
Thou comes — they rattle i' their 
ranks 

At ither's arses ! 

XIX. 

Thee, Ferintosh ! O sadly lost ! 
Scotland lament frae coast to coast ! 
Now colic grips, an' barkin hoast 

"May kill us a' ; 
For loyal Forbes' chartered boast 

Is taen awa! 

XX. 

Thae curst horse-leeches o' th' Excise, 
Wha mak the whisky stells their 

prize ! 
Haud up thy han', Deil ! ance, twice, 
thrice ! 

There, seize the blinkers 1 
An' bake them up in brunstane pies 
For poor damn'd drinkers. 

XXI. 

Fortune! if thou '11 but gie me still 
Hale breeks, a scone, an' whisky gill^ 
An' rowth o' rhyme to rave at will, 

Tak a' the rest. 
An' deal 't about as thy blind skill 

Directs thee best. 



THE AUTHOR'S EARNEST CRY AND PRAYER. 



7 



THE AUTHOR^S EARNEST 
CRY AND PRAYER. 

TO THE SCOTCH REPRESENTATIVES 
IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. 



Dearest of distillation I last and best ■ 
Now art thou lost I 



— Parody on Milton. 

[In the 1787 edition Burns added a foot- 
note, "This was wrote before the Act anent 
the Scotch distilleries, of session 1786, for 
which Scotland and the author return their 
most grateful thanks."] 



Ye Irish lords, ye knights an^ squires, 
Wha represent our brughs an' shires, 
An' doucely manage our affairs 

In Parliament, 
To you a simple Bardie's prayers 

Are humbly sent. 



II. 

Alas! my roupet Muse is haerse I 
Your Honors' hearts wi' grief 'twad 

pierce, 
To see her sitting on her arse 

Low i' the dust. 
And scriechin out prosaic verse, 

An' like to brust ! 



III. 

Tell them wha hae the chief direction, 
Scotland an' me 's in great affliction. 
E'er sin' they laid that curst restric- 
tion 

On aqua-vitse ; 
An' rouse them up to strong convic- 
tion. 

An' move their pity. 

IV. 

Stand forth, an' tell yon Premier 

youth 
The honest, open, naked truth : 



Tell him o' mine an' Scotland's 
drouth, 

His servants humble : 
The muckle deevil blaw you south, 

If ye dissemble ! 

V. 

Does onie great man glunch an' 

gloom ? 
Speak out, an' never fash your thumb ! 
Let posts an' pensions sink or soom 

Wi' them wha grant 'em : 
If honestly they canna come, 

Far better want 'em. 

VI. 

In gath'rin votes you were na slack ; 
Now stand as tightly by your tack : 
Ne'er claw your lug, an' fidge your 
back. 

An' hum an' haw ; 
But raise your arm, an' tell your crack 

Before them a'. 

VII. 

Paint Scotland greetin owre her 

thrissle ; 
Her mutchkin stowp as toom 's a 

whissle ; 
An' damn'd excisement in a bustle. 

Seizin a stell^ 
Triumphant, crushin 't like a mussel. 
Or lampit shell ! 

VIII. 

Then, on the tither hand, present 

her — 
A blackguard smuggler right behint 

her. 
An' cheek-for-chow, a chufifie vintner 

Colleaguing join, 
Pickin her pouch as bare as winter 
Of a' kind coin. 

IX. 

Is there, that bears the name o' Scot, 
But feels his heart's bluid rising hot, 



8 



THE AUTHOR'S EARNEST CRY AND PRAYER. 



To see his poor auld mither's pot 
Thus dung in staves, 

An' plundered o' her hindmost groat, 
By gallows knaves ? 



Alas! I 'm but a nameless wight, 

Trode i' the mire out o' sight ! 

But could I like Montgomeries fight^ 

Or gab Hke Boswell, 
There 's some sark-necks I wad draw 
tight, 

An' tie some hose well. 



XI. 

God bless your Honors! can ye see 't, 
The kind, auld, cantie carlin greet. 
An' no get warmly to your feet, 

An' gar them hear it. 
An' tell them wi' a patriot-heat, 

Ye winna bear it ? 



XII. 

Some o' you nicely ken the laws, 
To round the period an' pause. 
An' with rhetoric clause on clause 

To mak harangues : 
Then echo thro' Saint Stephen's wa's 

Auld Scotland's wrangs. 



XIII. 

Dempster, a true blue Scot I 'se warran ; 
Thee, aith-detesting, chaste Kilker- 

ran ; 
An' that glib-gabbet Highland baron. 

The Laird o' Graham ; 
An' ane, a chap that 's damn'd auld- 
farran, 

Dundas his name : 

XIV. 

Erskine, a spunkie Norland billie ; 
True Campbells, Frederick and Hay ; 
An' Livistone, the bauld Sir Willie ; 

An' monie ithers. 
Whom auld Demosthenes or Tully 

Mi^ht own for brithers. 



XV. 

Thee sodger Hugh^ my watchman 

stented. 
If Bardies e'er are represented ; 
I ken if that your sword were wanted, 

Ye 'd lend your hand ; 
But when there 's ought to say anent it, 

Ye 're at a stand. 

XVI. 

Arouse, my boys! exert your mettle, 
To get auld Scotland back her kettle ; 
Or faith ! I '11 wad my new pleugh- 
pettle. 

Ye '11 see 't or lang. 
She '11 teach you, wi' a reekin whitticj 

Anither sang. 

XVII. 

This while she 's been in crankous 

mood. 
Her lost Militia fir'd her bluid ; 
(Deil na they never mair do guid, 

Play'd her that pliskie!) 
An' now she 's like to rin red-wud 
About her whisky. 

XVIII. 

An' Lord! if ance they pit her till't, 
Her tartan petticoat she '11 kilt, 
An' durk an' pistol at her belt, 

She '11 tak the streets, 
An' rin her whittle to the hilt, 

r the first she meets 1 

XIX. 

For God-sake, sirs ! then speak her 

fair, 
An' straik her cannie wi' the hair, 
An' to the Muckle House repair, 

Wi' instant speed. 
An' strive, wi' a' your wit an' lear, 

To get remead. 

XX. 

Yon ill-tongu'd tinkler, Charlie Fox, 
May taunt you wi' his jeers an' mocks ; 



THE AUTHOR'S EARNEST CRY AND PRAYER. 



But gie hiniH het, my hearty cocks ! 


In spite o' a' the thievish kaes. 


E"en cowe the cache ! 


That haunt St. Jamie's ! 


An' send him to his dicing box 


Your humble Bardie sings an' prays^ 


An' sportin lady. 


While Rab his name is. 


XXI. 


POSTSCRIPT. 


Tell yon guid bluid of auld Bocon- 


XXVI. 


nock's, 




1 '11 be his debt twa mashlum bonnocks, 


Let half-starv'd slaves in w^armer skies 


An' drink his health in auld Nanse 


See future wanes, rich-clust'ring, rise ; 


Tinnock's 


Their lot auld Scotland ne'er envies, 


Nine times a-week. 


But, blythe and frisky. 


If he some scheme, like tea an' win- 


She eyes her freeborn, martial boys 


nocks, 


Tak aff their whisky. 


Wad kindly seek. 






XXVII. 


XXII. 


What tho' their Phoebus kinder warms. 


Could he some commutation broach, 


While fragrance blooms and Beauty 


I '11 pledge my aith in guid braid 


charms. 


Scotch, 


When wretches range, in famish'd 


He needna fear their foul reproach 


swarms. 


Nor erudition. 


The scented groves ; 


Yon mixtie-maxtie, queer hotch- 


Or, hounded forth, dishonor arms 


potch, 


In hungry droves ! 


The Coahtion. 






XXVIII. 


XXIII. 


Their gun's a burden on their 


Auld Scotland has a raucle tongue ; 


shouther ; 


She 's just a devil wi' a rung ; 


They downa bide the stink o' pow- 


An' if she promise auld or young 


ther ; 


To tak their part. 


Their bauldest thought 's a hank'ring 


Tho' by the neck she should be 


swither 


strung, 


To Stan' or rin. 


She '11 no desert. 


Till skelp — a shot — they're aff, a' 




throw'ther. 


XXIV. 


To save their skin. 


And now, ye chosen Five-and-Forty, 




May still your mither's heart support 


XXIX. 


ye; 


But bring a Scotsman frae his hill, 


Then, tho' a minister grow dorty, 


Clap in his cheek a Highland gill, 


An' kick your place. 


Say, such is royal George's will. 


Ye '11 snap your fingers, poor an' 


An' there 's the foe ! 


hearty, 


He has nae thought but how to kill 


Before his face. 


Twa at a blow. 


XXV. 


XXX. 


God bless your Honors, a' your days, 


Nae cauld, faint-hearted doubtings 


Wi' sowps o' kail and brats o' claes, 


tease him ; 



lO 



THE HOLY FAH<. 



Death comes, wi' fearless eye he sees 

him ; 
Wi' bluidy han^ a welcome gies him ; 

An' when he fa's, 
His latest draught o' breathin lea'es 



him 



In faint huzzas. 



XXXI. 

Sages their solemn een may steek 
An' raise a philosophic reek, 
An' physically causes seek 

In clime an' season ; 
But tell me whisky's name in Greek : 

I '11 tell the reason. 

XXXII. 

Scotland, my auld, respected mither! 
Tho' whiles ye moistify your leather, 
Till whare ye sit on craps o' heather 

Ye tine your dam, 
Freedom and whisky gang thegither, 

Tak aff your dram ! 



THE HOLY FAIR. 

A robe of seeming truth and trust 

Hid crafty observation ; 
And secret hung, with poison d crust. 

The dirk of defamation : 
A mash that like the gorget showd, 

Dye-varying on the pigeo??. ; 
And for a mantle large and broad, 

He wrapt him in Religion. 

— Hypocrisy a-la-mode. 

[" ' Holy Fair ' is a common phrase in the 
West of Scotland for a sacramental occa- 
sion." (R. B. in Edinburgh editions.) The 
satire is chiefly concerned with the tent- 
preaching outside the church while the Com- 
munion service went on within. Andrew 
Lang says, "As Lockhart justly observes, 
Burns in another mood could have given a 
solemn picture of a very solemn occasion."] 

I. 

Upon a simmer Sunday morn, 
When Nature's face is fair, 

I walked forth to view the corn. 
An' snuff the caller air. 



The rising sun, owre Galston Muirs, 
Wi' glorious light was glintin ; 

The hares were hirplin down the furs, 
The lav'rocks they were chantin 
Fu' sweet that day. 

II. 

As lightsomely I glowr'd abroad, 

To see a scene sae gay. 
Three hizzies, early at the road, 

Cam skelpin up the way. 
Twa had manteeles o' dolefu' black, 

But ane wi' lyart lining ; 
The third, that gaed a wee a-back, 

Was in the fashion shining 
Fu' gay that day. 

III. 

The twa appear'd like sisters twin, 

In feature, form, an' claes ; 
Their visage wither'd, lang an' thin, 

An' sour as onie slaes : 
The third cam up, hap-step-an'-lowp, 

As light as onie lambie. 
An' wi' a curchie low did stoop, 

As soon as e'er she saw me, 
Fu' kind that day. 

IV. 

Wi' bonnet aff, quoth I, ^ Sweet lass, 

I think ye seem to ken me ; 
I 'm sure I 've seen that bonie face. 

But yet I canna name ye.' 
Quo' she, an' laughin as she spak, 

An' taks me by the ban's, 
^ Ye, for my sake, hae gi'en the feck 

Of a' the Ten Comman's 

A screed some day. 

V. 

^ My name is Fun — your cronie dear. 

The nearest friend ye hae ; 
An' this is Superstition here, 

An' that 's Hypocrisy. 
I 'm gaun to Mauchline Holy Fair, 

To spend an hour in daffin : 
Gin ye '11 go there, yon runkl'd pain 

We will get famous laughin 
At them this day.' 



THE HOLY FAIR. 



II 



VI. 

Quoth I, ' Wi' a' my heart, I Ml do 't ; 

I '11 get my Sunday's sark on, 
An' meet you on the holy spot ; 

Faith, we 'se hae fine remarkin! ' 
Then I gaed hame at crowdie-time, 

An' soon I made me ready ; 
For roads were clad, frae side to side, 

Wi' monie a wearie body, 

In droves that day. 

VII. 

Here farmers gash, in ridin graith, 

Gaed hoddin by their cotters ; 
There swankies young, in braw braid- 
claith. 
Are springin owtc the gutters. 
The lasses, skelpin barefit, thrang, 

In silks an' scarlets glitter; 
Wi' sweet-milk cheese, in monie a 
whang, 
An- farls, bak'd wi' butter, 

Fu' crump that day. 

VIII. 

When by the plate we set our nose, 

Weel heaped up wi' ha'pence, 
A greedy glowr black-bonnet throws, 

An' we maun draw our tippence. 
Then in we go to see the show : 

On evVy side they 're gath'rin ; 
Some carryin dails, some chairs an' 
stools, 

An' some are busy bleth'rin 
Right loud that day. 

IX. 

Here stands a shed to fend the 
show'rs. 
An' screen our countra gentry ; 
There Racer Jess, an' twa-three 
whores. 
Are blinkin at the entry. 
Here sits a raw o' tittlin jads, 

Wi' heavin breasts an' bare neck ; 
An' there a batch o' wabster lads, 
Blackguardin frae Kilmarnock, 
For fun this day. 



X. 

Here some are thinkin on their sins, 

An' some upo' their claes ; 
Ane curses feet that fyl'd his shins, 

Anither sighs an' prays : 
On this hand sits a chosen swatch, 

Wi' screw'd-up, grace-proud faces ; 
On that a set o' chaps, at watch, 

Thrang winkin on the lasses 
To chairs that day. 



XI. 

O happy is that man an' blest! 

Nae wonder that it pride him! 
Whase ain dear lass, that he likes best, 

Comes clinkin down beside him! 
Wi' arm repos'd on the chair back, 

He sweetly does compose him ; 
Which, by degrees, slips round her 
neck. 

An 's loof upon her bosom, 
Unkend that day. 



XII. 

Now a' the congregation o'er 

Is silent expectation ; 
For Pvloodie speels the holy door, 

Wi' tidings o' damnation : 
Should Hornie, as in ancient days, 

'Mang sons o' God present him ; 
The vera sight o' Moodie's face 

To 's ain het hame had sent him 
Wi' fright that day. 



XIII. 

Hear how he clears the points o' Faith 

Wi' rattlin and thumpin! 
Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath, 

He's stampin, an' he's jumpin! 
His lengthen'd chin, his turn'd-up 
snout, 

His eldritch squeel an' gestures, 
O how they fire the heart devout — 

Like cantharidian plaisters 
On sic a day. 



12 



THE HOLY FAIR. 



XIV. 

But hark! the tent has changM its 
voice ; 

There ^s peace an' rest nae langer ; 
For a' the real judges rise, 

They canna sit for anger : 
Smith opens out his cauld harangues, 

On practice and on morals : 
An' affthe godly pour in thrangs, 

To gie the jars an' barrels 
A lift that day. 



XV. 

What signifies his barren shine, 

Of moral pow'rs an' reason? 
His English style, an' gesture line 

Are a' clean out o' season. 
Like Socrates or Antonine, 

Or some auld pagan heathen, 
The moral man he does define, 

But ne'er a word o' faith in 

That 's right that day. 



XVI. 

In guid time comes an antidote 

Against sic poison'd nostrum ; 
For Peebles, frae the water-fit, 

Ascends the holy rostrum : 
See, up he 's got the word o' God, 

An' meek an' mini has view'd it. 
While Common-sense has taen the 
road. 

An' aff, an' up the Cowgate 
Fast, fast that day. 



XVII. 

Wee Miller niest, the guard relieves, 

An' orthodoxy raibles, 
Tho' in his heart he weel believes. 

An' thinks it auld wives' fables : 
But faith! the birkie wants a manse : 

So, cannilie he hums them ; 
Altho' his' carnal wit an' sense 

Like hafflins-wise overcomes him 
At times that day. 



XVIII. 

Now butt an' ben the change-house 
fills, 
Wi' yill-caup commentators ; 
Here 's crying out for bakes an' gills, 
An' there the pint-stowp clatters; 
While thick an' thrang, an' loud an' 
lang, 
Wi' logic an' wi' Scripture, 
They raise a din, that in the end 
Is like to breed a rupture 

O' wrath that day. 



XIX. 

Leeze me on drink! it gies us mair 

Than either school or college ; 
It kindles wit, it waukens lear, 

It pangs us fou o' knowledge : 
Be 't whisky-gill or penny wheep, 

Or onie stronger potion, 
It never fails, on drinkin deep, 

To kittle up our notion, 
By night or day. 



XX. 

The lads an' lasses, blythely bent 

To mind baith saul an' body, 
Sit round the table, weel content, 

An' steer about the toddy : 
On this ane's dress, an' that ane's leuk, 

They 're makin observations ; 
While some are cozie i' the neuk, 

An' formin assignations 

To meet some day. 

XXI. 

But now the Lord's ain trumpet touts. 

Till a' the hills are rairin, 
And echoes back return the shouts ; 

Black Russell is na spairin : 
His piercin words, like Highlan' 
swords. 

Divide the joints an' marrow ; 
His talk o' Hell, whare devils dwell, 

Our verra ' sauls does harrow ' 
Wi' fright that day ! 



ADDRESS TO THE DEIL. 



13 



XXII. 

A vast, unbottom'd, boundless pit, 

Fiird fou o' lowin brunstane, 
Whase ragin flame, an' scorchin heat. 

Wad melt the hardest whun-stane ! 
The half-asleep start up \vi' fear, 

An' think they hear it roarin ; 
When presently it does appear, 

'T was but some neebor snorin 
Asleep that day. 



XXIII. 

'T wad be owre lang a tale to tell. 

How monie stories past ; 
An' how they crouded to the yill, 

When they were a' dismist ; 
How drink gaed round, in cogs an' 
caups, 
Amang the furms an' benches ; 
An' cheese an' bread, frae women's 
laps. 
Was dealt about in lunches, 
An' dawds that day. 



XXIV. 

In comes a gawsie, gash guidwife, 

An' sits down by the fire. 
Syne draws herkebbuck an' her knife 

The lasses they are shyer: 
The auld guidmen, about the grace, 

Frae side to side they bother ; 
Till some ane by his bonnet lays. 

An' gies them 't, like a tether, 
Fu' lang that day. 



XXV. 

Waesucks ! for him that gets nae lass, 

Or lasses that hae naething! 
Sma' need has he to say a grace. 

Or melvie his braw claithing! 
O wdves, be mindfu', ance yoursel, 

How bonie lads ye wanted ; 
An' dinna for a kebbuck-heel 

Let lasses be affronted 
On sic a day! 



XXVI. 

Now Clinkumbell, wi' rattlin tow, 

Begins to jow an' croon ; 
Some swagger hame the best they 
dow. 

Some wait the afternoon. 
At slaps the billies halt a bUnk, 

Till lasses strip their shoon : 
Wi' faith an' hope, an' love an' drink, 

They're a' in famous tune 

For crack that day. 



XXVII. 

How monie hearts this day converts 

O' sinners and o' lasses! 
Their hearts o' stane, gin night, are 
gane 

As saft as onie flesh is : 
There 's some are fou o' love divine ; 

There 's some are fou o' brandy ; 
An' monie jobs that day begin. 

May end in houghmagandie 
Some ither day. 



ADDRESS TO THE DEIL. 

O Prince/ O Chief of 7nany throned powrs ! 
That ledth' embattl'd seraphim to war. 

— Milton. 

[Gilbert Burns states that his brother 
first repeated the " Address to the Deil " in 
the winter following the summer of 1784, 
" while they were going together with carts 
of coal to the family fire." But it is clear 
from Burns's letter to Richmond, Feb. 12, 
1786, that Gilbert misdates the poem by a 
year. The "Address" is in part a good- 
natured burlesque on Milton's Satan.] 



I. 



O Thou 1 whatever title suit thee — 
Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie — 
Wha in yon cavern grim an' sootie, 

Clos'd under hatches, 
Spairges about the brunstane cootie, 

To scaud poor wretches ! 



14 



ADDRESS TO THE DEIL. 



II. 

Hear me, Auld Hangie, for a wee, 
An^ let poor damned bodies be ; 
I 'm sure sma' pleasure it can gie, 

Ev"n to a deil, 
To skelp an' scaud poor dogs like me 

An^ hear us squeel. 

III. 

Great is thy powV an' great thy fame ; 
Far kend an' noted is thy name ; 
An' tho' yon lowin heugh 's thy hame, 

Thou travels far ; 
An' faith ! thou 's neither lag, nor lame, 

Nor blate, nor scaur. 



IV. 



trying ; 



Whyles, ranging like a roarin lion, 
For prey, a' holes an' corne 
Whyles, on the strong-wing'd tempest 
flyin, 

Tirlin the kirks ; 
Whyles, in the human bosom pryin, 

Unseen thou lurks. 

V. 

I 've heard my rev'rend grannie say. 
In lanely glens ye like to stray ; 
Or, where auld ruinVl castles grey 

Nod to the moon. 
Ye fright the nightly wand'rer's way 

Wi' eldritch croon. 



VI. 

When twilight did my grannie sum- 
mon. 
To say her pray'rs, douce, honest 

woman ! 
Aft yont the dyke she 's heard you 
bummin, 

Wi' eerie drone ; 
Or, rustlin, thro' the boortrees comin, 
Wi' heavy groan. 



VII. 

Ae dreary, windy, winter night, 
The stars shot down wi' sklentin 
light, 



Wi' you mysel, I gat a fright : 
Ayont the lough, 

Ye, like a rash-buss, stood in sight, 
Wi' waving sugh. 

VIII. 

The cudgel in my nieve did shake. 
Each bristl'd hair stood like a stake ; 
When wi' an eldritch, stoor ' quaick, 
quaick,' 

Amang the springs, 
Awa ye squatter'd like a drake. 

On whistling wings. 

IX. 

Let warlocks grim, an' wither'd hags, 
Tell how wi' you, on ragweed nags. 
They skim the muirs an' dizzy crags, 

Wi' wicked speed ; 
And in kirk-yards renew their leagues, 

Owre howkit dead. 

X. 

Thence, countra wives, wi' toil an' pain. 
May plunge an' plunge the kirn in 

vain ; 
For O! the yellow treasure's taen 

By witching skill ; 
An' dawtit, twal-pint, hawkie 's gaen 

As yell 's the bill. 

XI. 

Thence, mystic knots mak great abuse 
On young guidmen, fond, keen an' 

croose ; 
When the best wark-lume i' the house, 

By cantraip wit. 
Is instant made no worth a louse, 
Just at the bit. 

XII. 

When thowes dissolve the snawy 

hoord. 
An' float the jinglin icy boord, 
Then, water-kelpies haunt the foord, 

By your direction. 
An' nighted trav'llers are allur'd 

To their destruction. 



THE DEATH AND DYING WORDS OF POOR MAHTE. 



IS 



XIII. 

And aft your moss-traversing spunkies 
Decoy the wight that late an' drunk is : 
The bleezin, curst, mischievous 
monkies 

Delude his eyes, 
Till in some miry slough he sunk is, 

Ne'er mair to rise. 

XIV. 

When Masons' mystic word an' grip 
In storms an' tempests raise you up, 
Some cock or cat your rage maun stop, 

Or, strange to tell I 
The youngest brother ye wad whip 

Aff straught to hell. 

XV. 

« 
Lang syne in Eden's bonie yard, 
When youthfu' lovers first were paired, 
An' all the soul of love they shar'd. 

The raptur'd hour, 
Sweet on the fragrant flow'ry swaird, 

In shady bow'r : 

XVI. 

Then you, ye auld, snick-drawing dog ! 

Ye cam to Paradise incog, 

An' play'd on man a cursed brogue 

(Black be your fa'! ), 
An' gied the infant warld a shog, 

'Maist ruin'd a'. 

XVII. 

D* ye mind that day when in a bizz 
We' reekit duds, an' reestit gizz. 
Ye did present your smoutie phiz 

'Mang better folk : 
An' sklented on the man of Uzz 

Your spitefu* joke? 

XVIII. 

An' how ye gat him i' your thrall, 
An* brak him out o' house an' hal', 
While scabs an' botches did him gall, 
Wi' bitter claw ; 



An' lows'd his ill-tongai'd wicked 



scaul 



Was warst ava ? 



XIX. 



But a' your doings to rehearse. 
Your wily snares an' fechtin fierce. 
Sin' that day Michael did you pierce 

Down to this time. 
Wad ding a Lallan tongue, or Erse, 

In prose or rhyme. 

XX. 

An' now, Auld Cloots, 1 ken ye 're 

thinkin, 
A certain Bardie's rantin, drinkin, 
Sonie luckless hour will send him lin- 
kin, 

To your black Pit ; 
But, faith! he'll turn a corner jinkin, 
An' cheat you yet. 

XXI. 

But fare-you-weel, Auld Nickie-Ben I 
O, wad ye tak a thought an' men' ! 
Ye aiblins might — I dinna ken — 

Still hae a stake : 
I 'm wae to think upo' yon den, 

Ev'n for your sake I 



THE DEATH AND DYING 
WORDS OF POOR MAILIE. 

THE author's only PET YO\VE : AN 
UNCO MOURNFU' TALE. 

[" ' Poor Mailie,' says Lockhart, follow- 
ing Gilbert Burns, ' was a real personage, 
though she did not actually die until some 
time after her last words were written. She 
had been purchased by Burns in a frolic, 
and became exceedingly attached to his 
person,' as the pig loved Sir Walter Scott. 
Like Scott, Burns was much loved by ani- 
mals, whom he has made immortal." — 
Andrew Lang.] 

As Maihe, an' her lambs thegither, 
Was ae day nibblin on the tether^ 
Upon her cloot she coost a hitch, 



i6 



POOR MAILIE'S ELEGY. 



An^ owre she warsPd in the ditch : 
There, groanin, dying, she did he, 
When Hughoc he cam doytin by. 

Wi' glowrin een, an' Hfted han's 
Poor Hughoc Uke a statue stan's ; 
He saw her days were near-hand 

ended, 
But, wae 's my heart ! he could na 

mend it ! 
He gaped wide, but naething spak. 
At length poor Alailie silence brak : — 

' O thou, whase lamentable face 
Appears to mourn my woefu' case! 
My dying words attentive hear, 
An* bear them to my Master dear. 

^Tell him, if e'er again he keep 
As muckle gear as buy a sheep — 
O, bid him never tie them mair, 
Wi' wicked strings o' hemp or hair ! 
But ca' them out to park or hill, 
An' let them wander at their will : 
So may his flock increase, an' grow 
To scores o' lambs, an' packs o' woo' . 

' Tell him, he was a Master kin' 
An' ay was guid to me an' mine ; 
An' now my dying charge I gie him, 
My helpless lambs, I trust them wi' 
him. 

^O, bid him save their harmless 

lives, 
Frae dogs, an' tods, an' butchers' 

knives ! 
But gie them guid cow-milk their fill, 
Till they be fit to fend themsel ; 
An' tent them duly, e'en an' morn, 
Wi' teats o' hay an' ripps o' corn» 

' An' may they never learn the gaets, 
Of ither vile, wanrestfu' pets — 
To slink thro' slaps, an' reave an' 

steal. 
At stacks o' pease, or stocks o' kail ! 
So may they, like their great forbears, 
For monie a year come thro' the 

sheers : 



So wives will gie them bits o' bread, 
An' bairns greet for them when they 're 
dead. 

•My poor toop-lamb, my son an" 
heir, 
O, bid him breed him up wi' care! 
An' if he live to be a beast. 
To pit some havins in his breast! - 
An' warn him — what I winna name- 
To stay content wi' yowes at hame ; 
An' no to rin an' wear his cloots, 
Like other menseless, graceless brutes. 

^An' niest, my yowie, silly thing ; 
Gude keep thee frae a tether string! 
O, may thou ne'er forgather up, 
Wi' onie blastit, moorland toop ; 
But ay keep mind to moop an' mell, 
Wi' sheep o' credit like thysel! 

' And now, my bairns, wi' my last 
breath, 
I lea'e my blessin wi' you baith : 
An' when you think upo' your mither, 
Mind to be kind to ane anither. 

' Now, honest Hughoc, dinna fail, 
To tell my master a' my tale ; 
An' bid him burn this cursed tether. 
An' for thy pains thou'se get my 
blether.' 

This said, poor Mailie turn'd her 
head, 
An' clos'd her een amang the dead! 



POOR MAILIE'S ELEGY. 



Lament in rhyme, lament in prose, 
Wi' saut tears tricklin down your 

nose ; 
Our Bardie's fate is at a close, 

Past a' remead! 
The last, sad cape-stane of his woes ; 
Poor Mailie's dead! 



EPISTLE TO JAMES SMITH. 



17 



II. 

It 's no the loss of warl's gear, 
That could sae bitter draw the tear, 
Or mak our Bardie, dowie. wear 

The mourning weed : 
He *s lost a friend an' neebor dear 

In Mailie dead. 

III. 

Thro' a' the toun she trotted by him : 
A lang half-mile she could descry him : 
Wi* kindly bleat, when she did spy 
him, 

She ran wi* speed : 
A friend mair faithfu* ne'er cam nigh 
him, 

Than Mailie dead. 

IV. 

I wat she was a sheep o' sense, 
An' could behave hersel wi' mense : 
I "11 say 't, she never brak a fence. 

Thro' thievish greed. 
Our Bardie, lanely, keeps the spence 

Sin' ]\iailie's dead. 



Or, if he wanders up the howe. 
Her livin image in her yowe 
Comes bleatin till him, owre the 
knowe, 

For bits o' bread : 
An' down the briny pearls rowe 
For ^lailie dead. 

VI. 

She was nae get o' moorlan tips, 
Wi' tawted ket, an' hairy hips ; 
For her forbears were brought in 
ships, 

Frae *yont the Tweed : 
A bonier fleesh ne'er cross'd the clips 

Than Mailie's dead. 

VII. 

Wae worth the man wha first did 
shape 
c 



That vile, wanchancie thing — a rape! 
It maks guid fellows girn an' gape, 

Wi' chokin dread ; 
An' Robin's bonnet wave wi' crape 

For ^lailie dead. 



VIII. 

O a' ye bards on bonie Doon! 

An' wha on Ayr your chanters tune! 

Com.e, join the melancholious croon 

O' Robin's reed! 
His heart will never get aboon! 



His ]\IaiHe's dead! 



EPISTLE TO JAMES SMITH. 

FrieJidship, viysterious cement of the soul! 
Szueef?ter of Life, and solder of Society ! 

I owe thee jnuch 

— Blair. 

[The recipient of this epistle was the son 
of Robert Smith, merchant, Mauchline. 
He was six years younger than the poet. 
He removed to Jamaica about 1788, where 
he died. His sister's " wit " is celebrated in 
" The Belles of Mauchiine." The " Epistle " 
was probably written early in 1786.] 



I. 

Dear Smith, the slee'st, pawkie thief, 
That e'er attempted stealth or rief ! 
Ye surely hae some warlock-breef 

Owre human hearts ; 
For ne'er a bosom yet was prief 

Against your arts. 



For me, I swear by sun an' moon. 
And ev'ry star that bhnks aboon, 
Ye've cost me twenty pair o' shoon, 

Just gaun to see you ; 
And ev'ry ither pair that 's done, 

^lair taen I 'm wi' you. 

III. 

That auld. capricious carlin, Nature, 
To mak amends for scrimpit stature. 



i8 



EPISTLE TO JAMES SMITH. 



She 's turned you off, a human-creature 
On her first plan ; 

And in her freaks, on evVy feature 
She 's wrote the Man. 



IV. 

Just now I Ve taen the fit o' rhyme, 
My barmie noddle 's working prime. 
My fancy yerkit up sublime, 

Wi' hasty summon : 
Hae ye a leisure-moment\s time 

To hear what 's comin ? 



Some rhyme a neebor^s name to lash ; 
Some rhyme (vain thought !) for need- 

fu' cash ; 
Some rhyme to court the countra 
clash, 

An^ raise a din ; 
For me, an aim I never fash ; 
I rhyme for fun. 

VI. 

The star that rules my luckless lot. 

Has fated me the russet coat, 

An' damn'd my fortune to the groat ; 

But, in requit, 
Has blest me with a random-shot 

O' countra wit. 

VII. 

This while my motion 's taen a sklent. 
To try my fate in guid, black prent ; 
But still the mair I 'm that way bent, 

Something cries, ' Hoolie! 
I red you, honest man, tak tent! 

Ye 11 shaw your folly : 

VIII. 

* There's ither poets, much your 

betters, 
Far seen in Greek, deep men o' letters, 
Hae thought they had ensurM their 

debtors, 

A' future ages ; 



Now moths deform, in shapeless 
tatters. 

Their unknown pages.' 

IX. 

Then farewell hopes o^ laurel-boughs 
To garland my poetic brows! 
Henceforth 1 11 rove where busy 
ploughs 

Are whistling thrang ; 
An' teach the lanely heights an^ howes 
My rustic sang. 



X. 

1 11 wander on, wi' tentless heed 
How never-halting moments speed. 
Till Fate shall snap the brittle thread ; 

Then, all unknown, 
1 11 lay me with th' inglorious dead, 

Forgot and gone! 



XI. 

But why o' death begin a tale ? 

Just now we're living sound an' hale ; 

Then top and maintop crowd the sail, 

Heave Care o'er-side! 
And large, before Enjoyment's gale, 

Let's tak the tide. 



XII. 

This life, sae far \s I understand. 

Is a' enchanted fairy-land. 

Where Pleasure is the magic- wand. 

That, wielded right, 
Maks hours like minutes, hand in 
hand. 

Dance by fa* light. 



XIII. 

The magic-wand then let us wield ; 
For, ance that five-an'-forty \s speel'd, 
See, crazy, weary, joyless Eild, 

Wi' wrinkl'd face. 
Comes hostin, hirplin owre the field, 

Wi' creepin pace. 



EPISTLE TO JAMES SMITH. 



19 



XIV. 

When ance life's day draws near the 

gloamin, 
Then fareweel vacant, careless roamin : 
An* fareweel chearfu* tankards foamin. 

An' social noise : 
An' fareweel dear, deluding Woman, 
The joy of joys! 

XV. 

O Life! how pleasant, in thy morn- 
ing, 

Young Fancy's rays the hills adorn- 
ing! 

Cold-pausing Caution's lesson scorn- 
ing, 

We frisk away, 

Like school-boys, at th' expected 
w^arning, 

To joy an' play. 



XVI. 

We wander there, we wander here, 
We eye the rose upon the brier, 
Unmindful that the thorn is near. 

Among the leaves ; 
And tho' the puny wound appear. 

Short while it grieves. 



XVII. 

Some, lucky, find a flow'ry spot. 
For which they never toil'd nor swat ; 
They drink the sweet and eat the fat, 

But care or pain : 
And haply eye the barren hut 

With high disdain. 

XVIII. 

With steady aim, some Fortune 

chase ; 
Keen Hope does evVy sinew brace : 
Thro' fair, thro' foul, they urge the 
race, 

And seize the prey : 
Then cannie, in some cozie place, 
They close the day. 



XIX. 

And others, like your humble servan', 
Poor wights ! nae rules nor roads 

observin, 
To right or left eternal swervin. 

They zig-zag on : 
Till, curst with age, obscur an' starvin, 

They aften groan. 

XX. 

Alas! what bitter toil an' straining — 
But truce wdth peevish, poor com- 
plaining! 
Is Fortune's fickle Lima waning? 

E'en let her gang ! 
Beneath what light she has remain- 



ing, 



Let 's sing our sang. 



XXI. 

My pen I here fling to the door. 
And kneel, ye Pow^'rs! and warm im- 
plore, 
' Tho I should wander Tcrj-a o'er. 

In all her climes. 
Grant me but this, I ask no more. 
Ay rowth o' rhymes. 

XXII. 

^ Gie dreeping roasts to countra lairds, 
Till icicles hing frae their beards : 
Gie fine braw claes to fine life-guards 

And maids of honor ; 
And yill an' whisky gie to cairds, 

Until they sconner. 

XXIII. 

< A title, Dempster merits it ; 

A garter gie to WiUie Pitt ; 

Gie wealth to some be-ledger'd cit, 

In cent, per cent. ; 
But give me real, sterling wit, 

And I "m content 

XXIV. 

' While ye are pleas'd to keep me hale, 
I '11 sit down o'er my scanty meal. 



20 



A DREAM. 



Be *t water-brose or muslin kail, 
Wi' cheerfu' face. 

As lang 's the Muses dinna fail 
To say the grace.' 

XXV. 

An anxious e'e I never throws 
Behint my lug, or by my nose ; 
I jouk beneath Misfortune's blows 

As weel *s I may : 
Sworn foe to sorrow, care, and prose, 

I rhyme away. 

XXVI. 

ye douce folk that live by rule. 
Grave, tideless-blooded. calm an" cool, 
Compar'd wi' you — O fool ! fool ! 

fool! 

How much unlike! 
Your hearts are just a standing pool. 
Your lives a dyke! 

XXVII. 

Nae hair-brained, sentimental traces 
In your unletter'd, nameless faces! 
In arioso trills and graces 

Ye never stray ; 
ViWX, gravissifno, solemn basses 

Ye hum away. 

XXVIII. 

Ye are sae grave, nae doubt ye 're 

wise ; 
Nae ferly tho' ye do despise 
The hairum-scairum, ram-stam boys, 
The rattling squad : 

1 see ye upward cast your eyes — 

Ye ken the road! 

XXIX. 

Whilst I — but I shall hand me there, 
Wi' you I *11 scarce gang onie where — 
Then, Jamie, I shall say nae mair. 

But quat my sang, 
Content wi' you to mak a pair, 

Whare'er I gang. 



A DREAM. 

Thoughts, words, and deeds, the Statute 

blames with reason ; 
But surely Dreams were neer wdicted 

Treason. 

[The leaning to Jacobitism in this ad- 
dress displeased some of his loyal patrons, 
who objected to its retention in tlie 1787 
edition, unless modified. But Burns wrote 
to Mrs. Dunlop that he was " not very 
amenable to counsel" in such a matter; 
and his sentiments once published, he 
scorned either to withdraw them or to di- 
lute his expression.] 

On reading in the public papers, the 
Laureate's Ode with the other parade of 
June 4th, 1786, the Author was no sooner 
dropt asleep, than he imagined himself 
transported to the Biith-day Levee: and, 
in his dreaming fancy, made the following 
Address: — 



I. 

GuiD-MORNiN to your Majesty! 

May Heaven augment your blisses, 
On ev'ry new birth-day ye see, 

A humble Poet wishes! 
My Bardship here, at your Levee, 

On sic a day as this is. 
Is sure an uncouth sight to see, 

Amang thae birth-day dresses 
Sae fine this day. 

II. 

I see ye Ve complimented thrang. 

By monie a lord an' lady ; 
God Save the Kz?ig'S a cuckoo sang 

That 's unco easy said ay : 
The poets, too, a venal gang, 

\Vi' rhymes weel-turnM an' ready, 
Wad gar you trow ye ne'er do wrang, 

But ay unerring steady. 
On sic a day. 

III. 

For me ! before a Monarch's face, 
Ev'n there I wdnna flatter ; 

For neither pension, post, nor place, 
Am I vour humble debtor : 



A DREAM. 



2][ 



So, nae reflection on your Grace, 
Your Kingship to bespatter ; 

Tnere's monie waur been o^ the race, 
And aiblins ane been better 
Than you this day. 

IV. 

^T is very true my sovereign King, 

My skill may weel be doubted ; 
But facts are chiels that winna ding, 

And dovvna be disputed : 
Your royal nest, beneath your wing, 

Is e'en right reft and clouted, 
And now the third part o' the string. 

An' less, will gang about it 
Than did ae day. 



Far be 't frae me that I aspire 

To blame your legislation. 
Or say, ye wisdom want, or fire 

To rule this mighty nation : 
But faith ! I muckle doubt, my sire 

Ye've trusted ministration 
To chaps wdia in a barn or byre 

Wad better filFd their station, 
Than courts yon day. 

VI. 

And now ye 've gien auld Britain 
peace. 

Her broken shins to plaister ; 
Your sair taxation does her fleece, 

Till she has scarce a tester : 
For me, thank God, my life 's a lease, 

Nae bargain wearin faster. 
Or faith! I fear, that, wi' the geese, 

I shortly boost to pasture 

r the craft some day. 

VII. 

I 'm no mistrusting Willie Pitt, 

When taxes he enlarges, 
(An' Will 's a true guid fallow's get, 

A name not envy spairges). 
That he intends to pay your debt, 

An' lessen a' your charges ; 



But, God sake! let nae saving flt 
Abridge your bonie barges 
An' boats this day. 



VIII. 

Adieu, my Liege ! may Freedom geek 

Beneath your high protection ; 
An' may ye rax Corruption's neck, 

And gie her for dissection ! 
But since I 'm here I '11 no neglect. 

In loyal, true affection. 
To pay your Queen, wi' due respect, 

My fealty an' subjection 

This great birth-day. 



IX. 

Hail, Majesty most Excellent! 

While nobles strive to please ye, 
Will ye accept a compliment, 

A simple Bardie gies 3^e? 
Thae bonie bairntime Heav'n has lent, 

Still higher may they heeze ye 
In bliss, till Fate some day is sent, 

For ever to release ye 

Frae care that day. 



X. 

For you, young Potentate o' Wales, 

I tell your Highness fairly, 
Down Pleasure's stream, wi' swelling 
sails, • 
I 'm tauld ye re driving rarely ; 
But some day you may gnaw your 
nails, 
An' curse your folly sairly, 
That e'er ye brak Diana's pales, 
Or rattPd dice wi' Charlie 
By night or day. 



XI. 

Yet aft a ragged cowte 's been known, 

To mak a noble aiver ; 
So, ye may doucely fill a throne. 

For a' their clish-ma-claver : 
There, him at Agincourt wha shone, 

Few better were or braver ; 



2JK 



THE VISION. 



And yet, wi' funny, queer Sir John, 
He was an unco shaver 

For monie a day. 

XII. 

For you, right revVend Osnaburg, 

Nane sets the lawn-sleeve sweeter, 
Altho^ a ribban at your lug 

Wad been a dress completer : 
As ye disown yon paughty dog, 

That bears the keys of Peter, 
Then Swith! an' get a wife to hug. 

Or trowth, ye '11 stain the mitre 
Some luckless day! 

XIII. 

Young, royal Tary-breeks, I learn. 

Ye Ve lately come athwart her — 
A glorious galley, stem an' stern 

Weel rigg d for Venus' barter ; 
But first hang out that she '11 discern 

Your hymeneal charter ; 
Then heave aboard your grapple-airn, 

An', large upon her quarter. 
Come full that day. 

XIV. 

Ye, lastly, bonie blossoms a\ 

Ye royal lasses dainty, 
Heav'n mak you 
braw. 

An' gie you lads a-plenty! 
But sneer na British boys awa! 

For king are unco scant ay, 
An' German gentles are but sma' : 

They 're better just than want ay 
On onie day. 

XV. 

God bless you a' ! consider now, 

Ye 're unco muckle dautet ; 
But ere the course o' life be through. 

It may be bitter sautet : 
An' I hae seen their coggie fou. 

That yet hae tarrow't at it ; 
But or the day was done, I trow, 

The laggen they hae clautet 
Fu' clean that day. 



guid as weel as 



THE VISION. 

[The division into "Duans" was bor- 
rowed from Ossian, — " Duan," a term of 
Ossian's for the different divisions of a 
digressive poem. Fourteen stanzas of this 
poem as originally composed were withheld 
by Burns from publication, and were first 
printed (1852) in Chambers's edition from 
the Stair MS., then in the possession of 
Mr. Dick of Irvine. In all hkelihood the 
published stanzas were revised for the Kil- 
marnock volume, the others remaining un- 
touched.] 



DUAN FIRST. 



The sun had clos'd the winter day, 
The curlers quat their roaring play, 
And hunger'd maukin taen her way, 

To kail-yards green, 
While faithless snaws ilk step. betray 

Whare she has been. 



II. 

The thresher's weary flingin-tree. 
The lee-lang day had tired me ; 
And when the day had clos'd his e'e 

Far i' the west, 
Ben i' the spence, right pensi*^elie, 

I gaed to rest. 

III. 

There, lanely by the ingle-cheek, 
I sat and ey'd the spewing reek. 
That fill'd, wi' hoast-provokingsmeek, 

The auld clay biggin ; 
An' heard the restless rattons squeak 

About the riggin. 

IV. 

All in this mottie, misty clime, 
I backward mus'd on wasted time : 
How I had spent my youthfu' prime. 

An' done naething. 
But stringing blethers up in rhyme, 

For fools to sing. 



THE VISION. 



23 



V. 

Had I to guid advice but harkit, 
I might, by this, hae led a market, 
Or strutted in a bank and clarkit 

My cash-account : 
While here, half-mad, half-fed, half- 
sarkit. 

Is a' th^ amount. 



VI. 

I started, mutt'ring * Blockhead ! coof I ' 
An' heav'd on high my waukit loof, 
To swear by a' yon starry roof. 

Or some rash aith, 
That I henceforth would be rhyme- 
proof 

Till my last breath — 



VII. 

When click'! the string the snick did 

draw ; 
And jee! the door gaed to the wa' ; 
And by my ingle-lowe I saw. 

Now bleezin bright, 
A tight, outlandish hizzie, braw, 
Come full in sight. 

VIII. 

Ye need na doubt, I held my whisht ; 
The infant aith, half-form'd, was 

crusht ; 
I glowr^d as eerie's I 'd been dusht. 

In some wild glen ; 
When sweet, like modest Worth, she 
blusht, ' 

And stepped ben. 



IX. 

Green, slender, leaf-clad holly-boughs 
Were twisted, gracefu', round her 

brows ; 
I took her for some Scottish Muse, 

By that same token ; 
And come to stop those reckless 
vows, 

Would soon been broken. 



X. 

A ' hair-brainM, sentimental trace ' 
Was strongly marked in her face ; 
A wildly- witty, rustic grace 

Shone full upon her; 
Her eye, ev'n turn'd on empty space, 

Beam'd keen with honor. 



XI. 

Down flow'd her robe, a tartan sheen, 
Till half a leg was scrimply seen ; 
And such a leg ! my bonie Jean 

Could only peer it ; 
Sae straught, sae taper, tight an' clean 

Nane else came near it. 



XII. 

Her mantle large, of greenish hue, 
My gazing wonder chiefly drew ; 
Deep lights and shades, bold-min- 
gling, threw 

A lustre grand ; 
And seem'd, to my astonished view, 

A w^eU-known land. 

XIII. 

Here, rivers in the sea were lost ; 
There, mountains to the skies were 

toss't ; 
Here, tumbling billows mark'd the 
coast 

W^ith surging foam ; 
There, distant shone Art's lofty boast, 
The lordly dome. 

XIV. 

Here, Doon pour'd down his far- 
fetched floods ; 
There, well-fed Irwine stately thuds : 
Auld hermit Ayr staw thro' his woods, 

On to the shore ; 
And many a lesser torrent scuds 

WMth seeming roar. 

XV. 

Low, in a sandy valley spread. 

An ancient borough rear'd her head ; 



24 



THE VISION. 



Still, as in Scottish story read, 
She boasts a race 

To ev'ry nobler virtue bred, 

And poHsh'd grace. 

XVI. 

By stately towV, or palace fair, 

Or ruins pendent in the air, 

Bold stems of heroes, here and there, 

I could discern ; 
Some seem'd to muse, some seem'd 
to dare, 

With feature stern. 



XVII. 

My heart did glowing transport feel. 
To see a race heroic wheel, 
And brandish round the deep-dyed 
steel 

In sturdy blows ; 
While, back-recoiling, seem'd to reel. 

Their suthron foes. 

XVIII. 

His Country's Saviour, mark him well ! 
Bold Richardton's heroic swell ; 
The chief, on Sark who glorious fell 

In high command ; 
And he whom ruthless fates expel 

His native land. 

XIX. 

There, where a sceptrM Pictish shade 
Stalk'd round his ashes lowly laid, 
I mark'd a martial race, pourtray'd 

In colours strong : 
Bold, soldier-featur'd, undismayed. 

They strode along. 

XX. 

Thro' many a wild, romantic grove. 
Near many a hermit-fancied cove 
(Fit haunts for friendship or for love 

In musing mood). 
An aged Judge, I saw him rove, 

Dispensing good. 



XXI. 

With deep-struck, reverential awe. 
The learned Sire and Son I saw : 
To Nature's God, and Nature's laW; 

They gave their lore ; 
This, all its source and end to draw. 

That, to adore. 

XXII. 

Brydon's brave ward I well could spy, 
Beneath old Scotia's smiling eye ; 
Who caird on Fame, low standing by, 

To hand him on, 
Where many a patriot-name on high, 

And hero shone. 



DUAN SECOND. 
I. 

With musing-deep, astonished stare, 
I viewed the heavenly-seeming Fair ; 
A whispering throb did witness bear 

Of kindred sweet. 
When with an elder sister's air 

She did me greet. 



II. 

All hail ! my own inspired Bard ! 
In me thy native Muse regard ! 
Nor longer mourn thy fate is hard, 

Thus poorly low ! 
I come to give thee such reward, 

As we bestow. 



III. 

' Know, the great genius of this land 

Has many a light aerial band, 

Who, all beneath his high command, 

Harmoniously, 
As arts or arms they understand, 

Their labors ply. 

IV. 

' They Scotia's race among them 

share : 
Some fire the soldier on to dare ; 



THE VISION. 



25 



Some rouse the patriot up to bare 


Some teach to meliorate the plain. 


Corruption's heart ; 


With tillage-skill; 


Some teach the bard — a darling 


And some instruct the shepherd-train, 


care — 


Blythe o'er the hill. 


The tuneful art. 


X. 

' Some hint the lover's harmless wile ; 


V. 


^ 'Mong swelling floods of reeking 


Some grace the maiden's artless 


gore, 


smile ; 


They, ardent, kindling spirits pour ; 


Some soothe the laborers weary toil 


Or, 'mid the venal Senate's roar, 


For humble gains. 


They, sightless, stand. 


And make his cottage-scenes beguile 


To mend the honest patriot-lore, 


His cares and pains c 


And grace the hand. 


XI. 

' Some, bounded to a district-space. 


VI. 


^And when the bard, or hoary sage, 


Explore at large man's infant race. 


Charm or instruct the future age. 


To mark the embryotic trace 


They bind the wild poetic rage 


Of rustic bard ; 


In energy ; 


And careful note each opening grace, 


Or point the inconclusive page 


A guide and guard. 


Full on the eye. 






XII. 


VII. 


' Of these am I — Coila my name : 


^ Hence, Fullarton, the brave and 


And this district as mine I claim. 


young; 


Where once the Campbells, chiefs of 


Hence, Dempster's zeal-inspired 


fame. 


tongue ; 


Held ruling pow'r : 


Hence, sweet, harmonious Beattie 


I mark'd thy embryo-tuneful flame. 


sung 


Thy natal hour. 


His Minstrel lays, 




Or tore, with noble ardour stung. 


XIII. 


The sceptic's bays. 


' With future hope I oft would gaze. 




Fond, on thy little early ways : 


VIII. 


Thy rudely caroll'd, chiming phrase 


^ To low^er orders are assign'd 


In uncouth rhymes ; 


The humbler ranks of human-kind, 


Fir'd at the simple, artless lays 


The rustic bard, the laboring hind, 


Of other times. 


The artisan ; 




All chuse, as various they 're inclin'd. 


XIV. 


The various man. 






I saw thee seek the sounding shore. 




Delighted with the dashing roar ; 


IX. 


Or when the North his fleecy store 


' When yellow waves the heavy grain. 


Drove thro' the sky, 


The threat'ning storm some strongly 


I saw grim Nature's visage hoar 


rein. 


Struck thy young eye. 



26 



THE VISION. 



XV. 

^ Or when the deep green-mantled 

earth 
Warm cherish Yl evVy floweret's birth. 
And joy and music pouring forth 

In evVy grove ; 
I saw thee eye tlie general mirth 

With boundless love. 

XVI. 

' When ripenM fields and azure skies 
Caird forth the reaper's rustling noise, 
I saw thee leave their evening joys, 

And lonely stalk, 
To vent thy bosom's swelling rise, 

In pensive walk. 

XVII. 

' When youthful Love, warm-blushing, 

strong. 
Keen-shivering, shot thy nerves along, 
Those accents grateful to thy tongue, 

Th' adored jVa//n% 
I taught thee how to pour in song 

To soothe thy flame. 

XVIII. 

^ I saw thy pulse^s maddening play. 
Wild-send thee Pleasure's devious 

way. 
Misled by Fancy's meteor-ray, 
By passion driven ; 
But yet the light that led astray 

Was light from Heaven. 

[The following are the suppressed stanzas. 
After the i8th of Duan i. : — ] 

^With secret throes I marked that 

earth, 
That cottage, witness of my birth ; 
And near I saw, bold issuing forth 

In youthful pride, 
A Lindsay race of noble worth. 
Famed far and wide. 

Where, hid behind a spreading wood. 
An ancient Pict-built mansion stood, 



I spied, among an angel brood, 

A female foir ; 
Sweet shone their high maternal blood 

And fathers^ air. 

^ An ancient tower to memory brought 
How Dettingen's bold hero fought ; 
Still, far from sinking into nought, 

It owns a lord 
Who far in western climates fought. 

With trusty sword. 

' Among the rest I well could spy 
One gallant, graceful, martial boy, 
The soldier sparkled in his eye, 

A diamond water; 
I blest that noble badge with joy 

That owaied m^f rater. 

XIX. 

' I taught thy manners-painting strains 
The loves, the ways of simple swains. 
Till now, o^er all my wide domains 

Thy fame extends ; 
And some, the pride of Coila's plains, 

Become thy friends. 

XX. 

' Thou canst not learn, nor can I show. 
To paint with Thomson's landscape 

glow ; 
Or wake the bosom-melting throe 

With Shenstone's art ; 
Or pour, with Gray, the moving flow 

Warm on the heart. 

[After the 20th stanza of the text : — ] 

' Near by arose a mansion fine. 
The seat of many a muse divine ; 
Not rustic muses such as mine, 

With holly crownM, 
But th' ancient, tuneful, laurelPd Nine, 

From classic ground. 

I mournM the card that Fortune dealt. 
To see where bonie Whitefoords 
dwelt ; 



THE VISION. 



27 



But other prospects made me melt : 

That village near : 
There Nature. Friendship, Love, I felt. 



Fond-mingling dearl 



*Hail! Nature's pang, more strong 

than death ! 
Warm Friendship's glow, like kindling 

wrath I 
Love, dearer than the parting breath 

Of dying friend I 
Not ev'n with life's wild devious path. 
Your force shall end! 

' The Pow'r that gave the soft alarms 
In blooming Whiteford's rosy charms. 
Still threats the tiny, feather'd arms, 

The barbed dart. 
While lovely Wilhelminia warms 

The coldest heart/ 



XXI. 

^ Yet, all beneath th* unrivall'd rose, 
The lowly daisy sweetly blows ; 
Tho' large the forest's monarch throws 

His army-shade. 
Yet green the juicy hawthorn grows 

Adown the glade. 

[After the 21st stanza of the text : — ] 

* Where Lugar leaves his moorland 

plaid, 
VYhere lately Want was idly laid, 
I marked busy, bustling Trade, 

In fervid flame. 
Beneath a Patroness's aid, 

Of noble name. 

^Wild, countless hills I could survey. 
And countless flocks as wild as they : 
But other scenes did charms display, 

That better please. 
Where polish'd manners dwell with 



Gray, 



In rural ease. 



Where Cessnock pours with gurgling 
sound ; 



And Irwine. marking out the bound, 
Enamour'd of the scenes around, 

Slow runs his race, 
A name I doubly honor'd found. 

With knightly grace. 

^Brydone's brave ward, I saw him 

stand. 
Fame humbly offering her hand. 
And near, his kinsman's rustic band, 

With one accord, 
Lamenting their late blessed land 

Must change its lord. 

' The owner of a pleasant spot, 
Near sandy wilds, I last did note ; 
A heart too warm, a pulse too hot 

At times, o'erran ; 
But large in ev'ry feature wrote, 

Appear'd the Man.' 

XXII. 

' Then never murmur nor repine ; 
Strive in thy humble sphere to shine ; 
And trust me, not Potosi's mine, 

Nor king's regard, 
Can give a bliss o'ermatching thine, 

A rustic Bard. 



XXIII. 

•To give my counsels all in one : 
Thy tuneful flame still careful fan ; 
Preserve the dignity of Man, 

With soul erect ; 
And trust the Universal Plan 

Will all protect. 



XXIV. 

^And wear thou ////>' — She solemn 

said. 
And bound the holly round my head : 
The polish'd leaves and berries red 

Did rustling play ; 
And, like a passing thought, she fled 

In light away. 



28 



HALLOWEEN. 



HALLOWEEN.^ 

Yes ! let the 7-ich deride, the proud disdain. 
The simple pleasures of the lowly traift : 
To me more dear, coffgenial to my heart. 
One native charm, than all the gloss of art. 

— GOLDSMITH. 

[" The following Poem will by many 
readers be well enough understood; but 
for the sake of those who are unacquainted 
with the manners and traditions of the 
country where the scene is cast, notes are 
added to give some account of the principal 
charms and spells of that night, so big with 
prophecy to the peasantry in the west of 
Scotland. The passion of prying into futu- 
rity makes a striking part of the history of 
human nature, in its rude state, in all ages 
and nations ; and it may be some entertain- 
ment to a philosophic mind if any such 
should honor the author with a perusal, to 
see the remains of it, among the more un- 
enlightened in our own" (R. B.). See 
Notes.] 

I. 

Upon that night, when fairies light 

On Cassilis Downans '-^ dance. 
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze, 

On sprightly coursers prance ; 
Or for Colean the route is taen, 

Beneath the moon's pale beains ; 
There, up the Cove,^ to stray and rove, 

Amang the rocks and streams 
To sport that night : 

II. 

Amang the bonie winding banks, 

Where Doon rins, wimplin, clear; 
Where Bruce ^ ance ruled the martial 
ranks, 
An' shook his Carrick spear ; 
Some merry, friendly, country-folks 

Together did convene. 
To burn their nits, an' pou their 
stocks. 
An' haud their Halloween 

Fu' blythe that night. 

III. 

The lasses feat an' cleanly neat, 
Mair braw than when they 're fine ; 



Their faces blythe fu' sweetly kythe 
Hearts leal, an' warm, an' kin' : 

The lads sae trig, wi' wooer-babs 
Weel-knotted on their garten; 

Some unco blate, an' some wi' gabs 
Gar lasses' hearts gang startin 
Whyles fast at night. 

IV. 

Then, first an' foremost, thro' the kail, 
Their stocks^ maun a' be sought 
ance ; 
They steek their een, an' grape an' 
wale 
For muckle anes, an' straught anes. 
Poor hav'rel Will fell aff the drift, 

An' wandered thro' the bow-kail. 
An' pow't, for want o' better shift, 
A runt, was like a sow-tail, 

Sae bow't that night. 



Then, straught or crooked, yird or 
nane. 
They roar an' cry a' throu'ther ; 
The vera wee-things, toddlin, rin 

Wi' stocks out-owre their shouther : 
An' gif the custock 's sweet or sour, 

Wi' joctelegs they taste them ; 
Syne coziely, aboon the door, 

Wi' cannie care, they've plac'd 
them 

To lie that night. 

VI. 

The lasses staw frae 'mang them a', 

To pou their stalks o' corn ; ^ 
But Rab slips out, an' jinks about, 

Behint the muckle thorn : 
He grippet Nelly hard an' fast ; 

Loud skirl'd a' the lasses ; 
But her tap-pickle maist w^as lost, 

W^han kiutlin in the fause-house ^ 
Wi' him that night. 

VII. 

The auld guid-wife's weel-hoordet 

nits ^ 



HALLOWEEN. 



29 



Are round an' round divided, 
An' monie lads' an' lasses' fates 

Are there that night decided : 
Some kindle couthie, side by side, 

An' burn thegither trimly : 
Some start awa wi' saucy pride, 

An' jump out-owre the chimlie 
Fu' high that night. 

VIII. 

Jean slips in twa, wi' tentie e'e ; 

Wha 't was, she wadna tell ; 
But this IS Jock, an' this is me, 

She says in to herself: 
He bleez'd owre her, an' she owre him, 

As they wad never mair part ; 
Till fuff ! he started up the lum, 

And Jean had e'en a sair heart 
To see 't that night. 

IX. 

Poor Willie, wi' his bow-kail runt, 

Was burnt wd' primsie Mallie ; 
An' Mary, nae doubt, took the drunt. 

To be compar'd to Willie : 
MalFs nit lap out, wi' pridefu' fling. 

An' her ain fit, it burnt it ; 
While Willie lap, an' swoor by jing, 

'T was just the way he w^anted 
To be that night. 

X. 

Nell had the fause-house in her min', 

She pits hersel an' Rob in ; 
In loving bleeze they sweetly join. 

Till white in ase they 're sobbin : 
Nell's heart was dancing at the view ; 

She whisper'd Rob to leuk for 't : 
Rob, stownlins, prie'd her bonie mou, 

Fu' cozie in the neuk for 't. 
Unseen that night. 

XI. 

But Merran sat behint their backs. 
Her thoughts on Andrew Bell ; 

She lea'es them gashing at their 
cracks. 
An' slips out by hersel : 



She thro' the yard the nearest taks, 
An' to the kiln she goes then. 

An' darklins grapit for the banks, 
And in the blue-clue ^ throws then, 
Right fear't that night. 

XII. 

An' ay she win't, an' ay she swat 

I wat she made nae jaukin ; 
Till something held within the pat, 

Guid Lord! but she was quakin! 
But whether 't was the Deil himsel, 

Or whether 't was a bauk-en', 
Or whether it was Andrew Bell, 

She did na wait on talkin 

To spier that night. 

XIII. 

Wee Jenny to her grannie says, 

' Will ye go wi' me, grannie ? 
I '11 eat the apple^^ at the glass, 

I gat frae uncle Johnie' : 
She fuff't her pipe wi' sic a lunt, 

In wrath she was sae vap'rin, 
She notic't na an aizle brunt 

Her braw, new, worset apron 
Out thro' that night. 

XIV. 

' Ye little skelpie-limmer's-face ! 

I daur ye try sic sportin. 
As seek the Foul Thief onie place. 

For him to spae your fortune : 
Nae doubt but ye may get a sight ! 

Great cause ye hae to fear it ; 
For monie a ane has gotten a fright, 

An' liv'd an' died deleeret. 
On sic a night. 

XV. 

' Ae hairst afore the Sherra-moor, 

I mind 't as weel 's yestreen — 
I was a gilpey then, I 'm sure 

I was na past fyfteen : 
The simmer had been cauld an' wat, 

An' stuff was unco green ; 
An' ay a rantin kirn we gat. 

An' just on Halloween 

It fell that night. 



30 



HALLOWEEN. 



XVIc 

• Our stibble-rig was Rab M'Graen, 

A clever, sturdy fallow ; 
His sin gat Eppie Sim wi^ wean, 

That lived in Achmacballa : 
He gat hemp-seed,^^ I mind it weel, 

An' he made unco light o 't ; 
But monie a day was by himsel, 

He was sae sairly frighted 
That vera night.' 

XVII. 

Then up gat fechtin Jamie Fleck, 

An' he swoor by his conscience, 
That he could saw hemp-seed a peck ; 

For it was a' but nonsense : 
The auld guidman raught down the 
pock. 

An' out a handfu' gied him ; 
Syne bad him slip frae 'mang the folk. 

Sometime when nae ane see'd him. 
An try't that night. 

XVIII. 

He marches thro' amang the stacks, 

Tho' he was something sturtin ; 
The graip he for a harrow taks. 

And haurls at his curpin ; 
And ev'ry now and then, he says, 

'Hemp-seed I saw thee. 
An' her that is to be my lass 

Come after me, an' draw thee 
As fast this night.' 

XIX. 

He whistl'd up Lord Lenox" March^ 

To keep his courage cheery ; 
Altho' his hair began to arch, 

He was sae fley'd an' eerie ; 
Till presently he hears a squeak. 

An' then a grane an' gruntle ; 
He by his shouther gae a keek. 

An' tumbrd wi' a wintle 

Out-owre that night.' 

XX. 

He roar'd a horrid murder-shout, 
In dreadfu' desperation! 



An' young an' auld come rinnin out. 
An' hear the sad narration : 

He swoor 'twas hilchin Jean ALCraw, 
Or crouchie Merran Humphie — 

Till stop! she trotted thro' them a' 
An' wha was it but grumphie 
Asteer that night? 

XXI. 

Meg fain wad to the barn gaen. 
To winn three wechts o' naeth- 

But for to meet the Deil her lane, 

She pat but little faith in : 
She gies the herd a pickle nits. 

An' twa red-cheekit apples. 
To watch, while for the barn she sets. 

In hopes to see Tam Kipples 
That vera night. 

XXII. 

She turns the key wi' cannie thraw, 

An' owre the threshold ventures ; 
But first on Sawnie gies a ca', 

Syne bauldly, in she enters : 
A ratton rattl'd up the wa', 

An' she cry'd, L — d preserve her! 
An' ran thro' midden-hole an' a', 

An' pray'd wi' zeal and fervour 
Fu' fast that night. 

XXIII. 

They hoy't out Will, wi' sair advice ; 
They hecht him some fine braw 
ane ; 
It chanc'd the stack he faddoniH 
thrice,^^ 
Was timmer-propt for thrawin : 
He taks a swirlie, auld moss-oak 

For some black gruesome carlin ; 
An' loot a winze, an' drew a stroke, 
Till skin in blypes cam haurlin 
Aff 's nieves that night- 

XXIV. 

A wanton widow Leezie was. 

As cantie as a kittlin ; 
But och ! that night, amang the shaws, 

She gat a fearfu* settlin! 



NEW-YEAR MORNING SALUTATION. 



31 



She thro^ the whins, and by the cairn, 

An' owre the hill gaed scrievin ; 
Whare three lairds' lands met at a 
burn,^^ 
To dip her left sark-sleeve in 
Was bent that night. 

XXV. 

Whyles owre a linn the burnie plays, 

As thro^ the glen it wimpl't ; 
Whyles round a rocky scaur it strays, 

Whyles in a wiel it dimpPt ; 
Whyles glitterd to the nightly rays, 

Wi' bickerin, dancin dazzle ; 
Whyles cookit underneath the braes. 

Below the spreading hazel 
Unseen that night. 

XXVI. 

Amang the brachens, on the brae, 

Between her an' the moon, 
The Deil, or else an outler quey. 

Gat up an' gae a croon : 
Poor Leezie's heart maist lap the 
hool ; 

Near lav'rock-height she jumpit. 
But mist a fit, an' in the pool 

Out-owTe the lugs she plumpit 

Wi' a plunge that night. 

XXVII. 

In order, on the clean hearth-stane, 

The luggies three ^^ are ranged ; 
And evYy time great care is taen 

To see them duly changed : 
Auld uncle John, wha wedlock's joys 

Sin Mar's-year did desire. 
Because he gat the toom dish thrice, 

He heav'd them on the fire 
In wrath that night. 

XXVIII. 

Wi' merry sangs, an' friendly cracks, 

I wat they did na weary ; 
And unco tales, an' funnie jokes — 

Thier sports were cheap an' cheery : 



Till butter'd sow'ns,^^ wi' fragrant 
lunt, 
Set a' their gabs a-steerin ; 
Syne, wi' a social glass o' strunt, 
They parted aff careerin 

Fu' blythe that night. 



THE AULD FARMER'S NEW-' 
YEAR MORNING SALUTA- 
TION TO HIS AULD MARE, 
MAGGIE. 

ON GIVING HER THE ACCUSTOMED 
RIPP OF CORN TO HANSEL IN THE 
NEW- YEAR. 

[This poem was probably composed 
about the beginning of the year 1786. It 
ilhistrates Burns's warm love for animals.] 



A GuiD New-Year I wish thee, Mag- 
gie ! 
Hae, there 's a ripp to thy auld bag- 
gie : 
Tho' thou's howe-backit now, an* 
knaggie, 

I 've seen the day 
Thou could hae gaen like onie staggie, 
Out-owre the lay. 

II. 

Tho' now thou 's dowie, stiff, an' 

crazy, 
An' thy auld hide as white 's a daisie, 
I 've seen thee dappl't, sleek an' 
glaizie, 

A bonie gray : 
He should been tight that daur't to 
raise thee, 

Ance in a day. 

III. 

Thou ance was i' the foremost rank, 
A filly buirdly, steeve, an' swank ; 
An' set weel down a shapely shank 
As e'er tread yird ; 



32 



NEW-YEAR MORNING SALUTATION. 



An' could hae flown out-owre a stank 
Like onie bird. 



IV. 

It 's now some nine-an'-twenty year 
Sin' thou was my guid-father's meere ; 
He gied me thee, o' tocher clear, 

An' fifty mark ; 
Tho, it was sma\ 't was weel-won gear, 

An' thou was stark. 



V. 

When first I gaed to woo my Jenny, 
Ye then was trottin wi' your minnie : 
Tho' ye was trickle, slee, an' funnie, 

Ye ne'er w^as donsie ; 
But hamely, tawie, quiet, an' cannie, 

An' unco sonsie. 



VI. 

That day, ye pranc'd wi' muckle pride. 
When ye bure hame my bonie bride : 
An' sweet an' gracefu' she did ride, 

Wi' maiden air ! 
Kyle-Stewart I could bragged wide, 

For sic a pair. 

VII. 

Tho' now ye dow but hovte and hob- 
ble, 
An' wintle like a saumont-coble. 
That day, ye was a jmker noble. 

For heels an' win' ! 
An' ran them till they a' did wauble, 

Far, far behin' ! 

VIII. 

When thou an' I were young and 

skiegh, 
An' stable-meals at fairs were driegh, 
How thou wad prance, an' snore, an' 
skriegh, 

An' tak the road ! 
Town's-bodies ran, an' stood abiegh. 
An' ca't thee mad. 



IX. 

When thou was corn't, an' I was mel- 
low, 
We took the road ay like a swallow : 
At brooses thou had ne'er a fellow, 

For pith an' speed ; 
But ev'ry tail thou pay't them hollow 

Whare'er thou gaed. 



X. 

The sma', droop-rumpl't, hunter cattle 
Might aiblins waur't thee for a brattle ; 
But sax Scotch miles thou try't their 
mettle, 

An' gar't them whaizle : 
Nae whip nor spur, but just a wattle 

0' saugh or hazle. 



XI. 

Thou w^as a noble fittie-Ian', 
As e'er in tug or tow was drawn 
Aft thee an' I, in aught hours' gaun. 

On guid March-weather, 
Hae turn'd sax rood beside our han' 

For days thegither. 



XII. 

Thou never braing't, an' fetch't, an' 

fliskit ; 
But thy auld tail thou wad hae whiskit, 
An' spread abreed thy weel-fiU'd 
brisket, 

Wi' pith an' pow'r ; 
Till sprittie knowes wad rair't, an'' 
riskit, 

An' slypet owre. 

XIII. 

When frosts lay lang, an' snaws were 

deep. 
An' threaten'd labour back to keep, 
I gied thy cog a wee bit heap 

Aboon the timmer: 
I ken'd my Maggie wad na sleep 

For that, or simmer. 



THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT. 



33 



XIV. 

In cart or car thou never reestit ; 
The steyest brae thou wad hae facH it ; 
Thou never lap, an' sten't, an' breastit, 

Then stood to blaw ; 
But just thy step a wee thing hastit, 

Thou snoov't awa. 



XV. 



My pleugh is now thy bairntime a', 
Four gallant brutes as e'er did draw ; 
Forbye sax mae I 've sell't awa, 

That thou hast nurst : 
They drew me thretteen pund an' 
twa, 

The vera warst. 



XVI. 

Monie a sair darg we twa hae wrought, 
An' wi' the weary warl' fought ! 
An' monie an anxious day I thought 

We wad be beat ! 
Yet here to crazy age we 're brought, 

Wi' something yet. 



XVII. 

An' think na, my auld trusty ser- 

van'. 
That now perhaps thou 's less de- 

servin, 
Ai^' thy auld days may end in starvin ; 

For my last fow, 
A heapet stimpart, I '11 reserve ane 
Laid by for you. 



XVIII. 

We 've worn to crazy years the- 

gither ; 
We '11 toyte about wi' ane anither ; 
Wi' tentie care I '11 flit thy tether 

To some hain'd rig, 
Whare ye may nobly rax your leather 

Wi' sma' fatigue. 

D 



THE COTTER'S SATURDAY 
NIGHT. 

INSCRIBED TO R. AIKEN, ESQ. 

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, 
Their homely joys, and desti7iy obscure ; 

Nor Grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile, 
The short and simple annals of the poor. 

— Gray. 

[" The poem is as manifestly based on 
Fergusson's ' Farmer's Ingle,' as is ' Hal- 
loween ' on his ' Hallow Fair.' But Fergus- 
son is practically obsolete and forgotten, 
eclipsed among his own people by the most 
generous of his admirers. Burns's verse is 
original in its vein of piety, and Family 
Prayers are unrecorded by the earlier poet, 
who spares, moreover, the lordling, scathed, 
as usual, by Burns.!' — ANDREW LANG. 
See Notes.] 



My lov'd, my honor'd, much respected 
friend ! 
No mercenary bard his homage 
pays; 
With honest pride, I scorn each self- 
ish end, 
My dearest meed, a friend's esteem 

and praise : 
To you I sing, in simple Scottish 
lays, 
The lowly train in life's sequester'd 
scene ; 
The native feelings strong, the 
guileless ways ; 
What Aiken in a cottage would have 

been ; 
Ah ! tho' his worth unknown, far 
happier there I ween ! 

II. 

November chill blaws loud wi' angry 
sugh; 
The short'ning winter-day is near 
a close ; 
The miry beasts retreating frae the 
pleugh ; 
The black'ning trains o' craws to 
their repose : 



34 



THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT. 



The toil-worn Cotter frae his labor 

goes — 
This night his weekly moil is at an 

end, 
Collects his spades, his mattocks, 

and his hoes, 
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to 

spend, 
And weary, o'er the moor, his course 

does hameward bend. 



III. 



At length his lonely cot appears in 
view. 
Beneath the shelter of an aged 
tree ; 
Th' expectant wee-things, toddlin, 
stacher through 
To meet their dad, wi' flichterin' 

noise and glee. 
His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonilie, 
His clean hearth-stane, his thrifty 
wifie's smile, 
The lisping infant, prattling on his 
knee, 
Does 2C his weary kiaugh and care 

beguile, 
And makes him quite forget his labor 
and his toil. 



IV. 

Belyve, the elder bairns come drap- 
ping in. 
At service out, amang the farmers 
roun' ; 
Some ca' the pleugh, some herd, some 
tentie rin 
A cannie errand to a neebor town : 
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, 
woman grown. 
In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in 
her e'e, 
^omes hame ; perhaps, to shew a 
braw new gown, 
Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee, 
To help her parents dear, if they in 
hardship be. 



V. 

With joy unfeign d, brothers and sis- 
ters meet. 
And each for others weelfare kindly 
spiers : 
The social hours, swift-wing'd, un- 
notic'd fleet ; 
Each tells the uncos that he sees or 

hears. 
The parents partial eye their hope- 
ful years ; 
Anticipation forward points the view ; 
The mother, wi' her needle and 
her sheers. 
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel 's 

the new ; 
The father mixes sC wV admonition 
due. 

VI. 

Their master's and their mistress's 

command 

The younkers a' are warned to obey ; 

And mind their labors wi' an eydent 

hand. 

And ne'er, tho' out o' sight, to jauk 

or play : 
*And O ! be sure to fear the Lord 
alway. 
And mind your duty, duly, morn and 
night ; 
Lest in temptation's path ye gang 
astray. 
Implore His counsel and assisting 

might : 
They never sought In vain that sought 
the Lord aright.' 

VII. 

But hark ! a rap comes gently to the 

door; 
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' 

the same. 
Tells how a neebor lad came o'er the 

moor. 
To do some errands, and convoy 

her hame. 
The wily mother sees the conscious 

flame 



THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGPIT. 



35 



Sparkle in Jenny's e'e^ and flush her 
cheek ; 
With heart-struck anxious care, en- 
quires his name, 

While Jenny hafflins is afraid to 
speak ; 

Weel-pleas'd the mother hears, it 's 
nae wild, worthless rake. 



VIII. 

With kindly welcome, Jenny brings 
him ben ; 
A strappin' youth, he takes the 
mother's eye ; 
Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill 
taen ; 
The father cracks of horses, pleughs, 

and kye. 
The youngster's artless heart o'er- 
flows wi' joy. 
But blate and laithfu', scarce can weel 
behave ; 
The mother, wi'' a woman's wiles, 
can spy 
What makes the youth sae bashfu' 

and sae grave ; 
Weel-pleas'd to think her bairn's 
respected like the lave. 



IX. 

happy love! where love like this is 

found : 
O heart-felt raptures ! bliss beyond 
compare ! 

1 Ve paced much this weary, mortal 

round. 
And sage experience bids me this 

declare : — 
' If Heaven a draught of heavenly 
pleasure spare. 
One cordial in this melancholy vale, 
'T is when a youthful, loving, mod- 
est pair. 
In other's arms, breathe out the tender 

tale 
Beneath the milk-white thorn that 
scents the ev'ning gale.' 



X. 

Is there, in human form, that bears a 
heart, 
A wretch ! a villain ! lost to love 
and truth ! 
That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring 
art. 
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting 

youth ? 
Curse on his perjur'd arts ! dissem- 
bling, smooth ! 
Are honor, virtue, conscience, all 
exird ? 
Is there no pity, no relenting nith, 
Points to the parents fondling o'er 

their child? 
Then paints the ruin'd maid, and 
their distraction wild ? 



XI. 

But now the supper crowns their 
simple board, 
The healsome parritch, chief o' 
Scotia's food ; 
The soupe their only hawkie does 
afford, 
That, 'yont the hallan snugly chows 

her cood ; 
The dame brings forth, in compli- 
mental mood, 
To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd 
kebbuck, fell ; 
And aft he 's prest, and aft he ca's 
it guid ; 
The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell. 
How 't was a towmond auld, sin' lint 
was i' the bell. 



XII. 

The chearfu' supper done, wi' serious 
face, 
They, round the ingle, form a circle 
wide ; 
The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal 
grace, 
The big ha'-Bible, ance his father's 
pride. 



36 



THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT. 



His bonnet revVently is laid aside. 

His lyart haffets wearing thin and 

bare ; 

Those strains that once did sweet 

in Zion glide, 

He whales a portion with judicious 

care, 
And ^ Let us worship God ! ' lie says, 
with solemn air. 



XIII. 

They chant their artless notes in 
simple guise, 
They tune their hearts, by far the 
noblest aim ; 
Perhaps Dundee s wild-warbling meas- 
ures rise, 
Or plaintive Alartyrs, worthy of 

the name ; 
Or noble Elgin beets the heaven- 
ward flame, 
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy 
lays : 
Compared with these, Italian trills 
are tame ; 
The tickPd ears no heart-felt raptures 

raise ; 
Nae unison hae they, with our Crea- 
tor's praise. 



XIV. 

The priest-like father reads the sacred 
page, 
How Abram was the friend of God 
on high ; 
Or, Moses bade eternal warfare wage 
With Amalek's ungracious prog- 
eny ; 
Or, how the royal Bard did groan- 
ing lie 
Beneath the stroke of Heaven's 
avenging ire; 
Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wail- 
ing cry ; 
Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire ; 
Or other holy Seers that tune the 
sacred lyre. 



XV. 

Perhaps the Christian volume is the 
theme : 
How^ guiltless blood for guilty man 
was shed ; 
How He, who bore in Heaven the 
second name, 
Had not on earth whereon to lay 

His head ; 
How His first followers and ser- 
vants sped ; 
The precepts sage they wrote to many 
a land : 
How he, who lone in Patmos ban- 
ished. 
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand, 
And heard great Bab'lon's doom pro- 
nounc'd by Heaven's command. 

XVI. 

Then kneeling down to Heaven's 
Eternal King, 
The saint, the father, and the hus- 
band prays : 
Hope ^ springs exulting on triumphant 
wing,' 
That thus they all shall meet in 

future days. 
There, ever bask in uncreated rays, 
No more to sigh or shed the bitter 
tear. 
Together hymning their Creator's 
praise. 
In such society, yet still more dear; 
While circling Time moves round in 
an eternal sphere. 



XVII. 

Compar'd with this, how poor Reli- 
gion's pride. 

In all the pomp of method, and of 
art ; 
When men display to congregations 
wide 

Devotion's ev'ry grace, except the 
heart 

The Power, incens'd, the pageant 
will desert. 



TO A MOUSE. 



37 



The pompous strain, the sacerdotal 

stole : 
But haply, in some cottage far apart. 
May hear, well-pleas"d, the language 

of the soul. 
And in His Book of Life the inmates 

poor enroll. 



XVIII. 

Then homeward all take off their 
sev'ral way : 
The youngling cottagers retire to 
rest : 
The parent-pair their secret homage 
pay, 
And proffer up to Heaven the warm 

request, 
That He who stills the raven's 
clam'rous nesi, 
And decks the lily fair in flow'ry 
pride. 
Would, in the way His wisdom sees 
the best, 
For them and for their little ones 

provide ; 
But, chiefly, in their hearts with Grace 
Divine preside. 



XIX. 

From scenes like these, old Scotia's 
grandeur springs, 
That makes her lov'd at home, 
rever'd abroad : 
Princes and lords are but the breath 
of kings, 
^ An honest man 's the noblest work 

of God'; 
And certes, in fair Virtue's heavenly 
road. 
The cottage leaves the palace far be- 
hind ; 
What is a lordling's pomp ? a cum- 
brous load. 
Disguising oft the wretch of human 

kind. 
Studied in arts of Hell, in wickedness 
retin'd ! 



XX. 

O Scotia ! my dear, my native soil ! 
For whom my warmest wish to 
Heaven is sent ! 
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic 
toil 
Be blest with health, and peace, 

and sweet content ! 
And O ! may Heaven their simple 
lives prevent 
From Luxury's contagion, weak and 
vile ! 
Then, howe'er crowns and coronets 
be rent, 
A virtuous populace -may rise the 

while. 
And stand a wall of fire around their 
much-lov*d Isle. 



XXI. 

O Thou ! who pour'd the patriotic 
tide. 
That stream'd thro' Wallace's un- 
daunted heart, 
Who dar'd to, nobly, stem tyrannic 
pride. 
Or nobly die, the second glorious 

part: 
(The patriot's God, peculiarly Thou 
art. 
His friend, inspirer, guardian, and 
reward !) 
O never, never Scotia's realm de- 
sert ; 
But still the patriot, and the patriot- 
bard 
In bright succession raise, her orna- 
ment and guard ! 



TO A MOUSE. 

ON TURNING HER UP IN HER NEST 
WITH THE PLOUGH, NOVEMBER 
1785. 

[Gilbert Burns testifies that the verses to 
the "Mouse" were suggested by the inci- 



38 



EPISTLE TO DAVIE, A BROTHER POET. 



dent in the heading of the poem, and com- 
posed while the author was holding the 
plough.] 



Wee, sleekit, cowrin, timYous beastie, 
O, what a panic 's in thy breastie ! 
Thou need na start awa sae hasty 

Wi' bickering brattle! 
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee, 

Wi' murdering pattle ! 

II. 

I 'm truly sorry man's dominion 
Has broken Nature's social union, 
An' justifies that ill opinion 

Which makes thee startle 
At me, thy poor, earth-born compan- 
ion 

An' fellow mortal ! 

III. 

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may 

thieve ; 
What then? poor beastie, thou maun 

live ! 
A daimen icker in a thrave 

*S a sma' request ; 

I '11 get a blessin wi' the lave. 

An' never miss 't ! 



IV. 

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin ! 
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin ! 
An' naething, now, to big a new ane, 

O' foggage green ! 
An' bleak December's win's ensuin, 

Baith snell an' keen ! 



Thou saw the fields laid bare an' 

waste. 
An' weary winter comin fast. 
An' cozie here, beneath the blast, 

Thou thought to dwell. 
Till crash ! the cruel coulter past 

Out thro' thv cell. 



VI. 

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stib- 

ble, 
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble ! 
Now thou 's turned out, for a' thy 
trouble. 

But house or hald. 
To thole the winter's sleety dribble, 
An' cranreuch cauld ! 



VII. 

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane, 
In proving foresight may be vain : 
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' 
men 

Gang aft agley, 
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, 
For promis'd joy ! 

VIII. 

Still thou are blest, compared wi' me! 
The present only touch eth thee : 
But och ! I backward cast my e'e. 

On prospects drear! 
An' forward, tho' I canna see, 

I guess an' fear ! 



EPISTLE TO DAVIE, A 
BROTHER POET. 

JANUARY. 

[The "Davie" of the "Epistle" was 
David Sillar, who published in 1789 a vol- 
ume of Poems in imitation of Burns, who 
helped him to get subscribers. He died 
May 2, 1830.] 



While winds frae aff Ben-Lomond 

hi aw. 
And bar the doors wi' drivin snaw. 

And hing us owtc the ingle, 
I set me down to pass the time, 
And spin a verse or twa o' rhyme. 

In hamely, westlin jingle : 



EPISTLE TO DAVIE, A BROTHER POET. 



39 



While frosty winds blaw in the drift, 

Ben to the chimla lug, 
I grudge a wee the great-folk's gift, 
That live sae bien an' snug : 
I tent less, and want less 
Their roomy fire-side ; 
But hanker, and canker. 
To see their cursed pride. 

II. 

It 's hardly in a body's pow'r, 

To keep, at times, frae being sour, 

To see how things are shar'd ; 
How best o" chiels are whyles in want. 
While coofs on countless thousands 
rant. 
And ken na how to ware 't ; 
But Davie, lad, ne'er fash your head, 

Tho' we hae little gear ; 
We Ye fit to win our daily bread, 
As lang 's we *re hale and fier : 
^ Mair spier na, nor fear na,' 

Auld age ne'er mind a feg ; 
The last o't, the warst o't, 
Is only but to beg. 

III. 

To lie in kilns and barns at e'en, 
When banes are craz'd, and bluid is 
thin. 
Is, doubtless, great distress ! 
Yet then content could make us blest ; 
Ev'n then, sometimes, we 'd snatch a 
taste 
Of truest happiness. 
The honest heart that *s free frae a' 

Intended fraud or guile, 
However Fortune kick the ba', 
Has ay some cause to smile ; 
And mind still, you '11 find still, 

A comfort this nae sma' ; 
Nae mair then, we '11 care then, 
Nae farther can we fa'. 



IV. 

What tho', like commoners of air, 
We wander out, we know not where. 
But either house or hal'? 



Yet Nature's charms, the hills and 

woods. 
The sweeping vales, and foaming 
floods, 
Are free alike to all. 
In days when daisies deck the ground. 

And blackbirds whistle clear. 
With honest joy our hearts will 
bound. 
To see the coming year : 

On braes w^hen we please then. 

We '11 sit an' sowth a tune : 
Syne rhyme till 't we '11 time till 't, 
An' sing't wdien we hae done. 



It 's no in titles nor in rank : 

It 's no in wealth like London Bank, 

To purchase peace and rest. 
It's no in makin muckle, mair; 
It 's no in books, it 's no in lear, 

To make us truly blest : 
If happiness hae not her seat 

An' centre in the breast. 
We may be wise, or rich, or great. 
But never can be blest ! 
Nae treasures nor pleasures 

Could make us happy lang ; 
The heart ay 's the part ay 

That makes us right or wrang. 



VI. 

Think ye, that sic as you and I, 
Wha drudge and drive thro' Vv'et and 
dry, 
Wi' never ceasing toil ; 
Think ye, are we less blest than they, 
Wha scarcely tent us in their way. 

As hardly worth their while ? 
Alas ! how oft, in haughty mood, 

God's creatures they oppress ! 
Or else, neglecting a' that 's guid, 
They riot in excess ! 

Baith careless and fearless 

Of either Heaven or Hell ; 
Esteeming and deeming 
It a' an idle tale ! 



40 



THE LAMENT. 



VII. 

Then let us chearfu' acquiesce, 
Nor make our scanty pleasures less 

By pining at our state : 
And, even should misfortunes come, 
I here wha sit hae met wi' some, 

An 's thankfu' for them yet. 
They gie the wit of age to youth ; 

They let us ken oursel ; 
They make us see the naked truth, 
The real guid and ill : 
Tho' losses and crosses 

Be lessons right severe, 
There 's wit there, ye '11 get there. 
Ye Ul find nae other where. 

VIII. 

But tent me, Davie, ace o' hearts ! 
(To say aught less wad wrang the 
cartes. 
And flattVy I detest) 
This life has joys for you and I ; 
And joys that riches ne'er could buy, 

And joys the very best. 
There 's a' the pleasures o' the heart. 

The lover an' the frien' : 
Ye hae your Meg, your dearest part, 
And I my darling Jean ! 
It warms me, it charms me 

To mention but her name : 
It heats me, it beets me. 
And sets me a' on flame ! 

IX. 

O all ye Pow'rs who rule above ! 
O Thou whose very self art love ! 

Thou know'st my words sincere ! 
The life-blood streaming thro' my 

heart. 
Or my more dear immortal part, 

Is not more fondly dear ! 
When heart-corroding care and grief 

Deprive my soul of rest. 
Her dear idea brings relief 
And solace to my breast. 
Thou Being All-seeing, 

O, hear my fervent prayV ! 
Still take her, and make her 
Thy most peculiar care ! 



X. 

All hail ! ye tender feelings dear ! 
The smile of love, the friendly tear, 

The sympathetic glow ! 
Long since, this world's thorny ways 
Had numbered out my weary days. 

Had it not been for you ! 
Fate still has blest me with a friend 

In every care and ill ; 
And oft a more endearing band, 
A tie more tender still. 
It lightens, it brightens 
The tenebrlfic scene, 
To meet with, and greet with 
My Davie or my Jean ! 



XI. 

O, how that Name inspires my style! 
The words come skelpin rank an' 
file, 
Amaist before I ken! 
The ready measure rins as fine. 
As Phoebus and the famous Nine 

Were glowrin owre my pen. 
My spaviet Pegasus will limp. 

Till ance he 's fairly het ; 
And then he '11 hilch, an' stilt, an' 
jimp. 
And rin an unco fit ; 

But least then, the beast then 
Should rue this hasty ride, 
I '11 light now, and dight now 
His sweaty, wizened hide. 



THE LAMENT. 

OCCASIONED BY THE UNFORTUNATE 
ISSUE OF A friend's AMOUR. 

Alas ! how oft does Goodness wound itself. 
And sweet Affection prove the spring of 
Woe! 

— Home. 

[" The unfortunate issue," not of a 
"friend's," but of his own "amour" — 
(when Jean Armour, overborne by paternal 
authority, agreed to discard him) — was, 



THE LAMENT. 



Burns declares, the " unfortunate story 
alluded to" in the "Lament."] 

I. 

THOU pale Orb that silent shines 
While care - untroubled mortals 

sleep ! 

1 hou seest a wretch who inly pines. 

And wanders here to w^ail and 
wxep ! 

With Woe I nightly vigils keep, 
Beneath thy wan, un warming beam ; 

And mourn, in lamentation deep, 
How life and love are all a dream! 



II. 

I joyless view thy rays adorn 
The faintly-marked, distant hill ; 

I joyless view thy trembling horn 
Reflected in the gurgling rill : 
My fondly-fluttering heart, be still! 

Thou busy pow'r, Remembrance, 
cease ! 
Ah ! must the agonizing thrill 

For ever bar returnino: Peace ? 



III. 

No idly-feign'd, poetic pains 

My sad, love-lorn lamentings claim : 
No shepherd's pipe — Arcadian strains ; 

No fabled tortures quaint and 
tame. 

The plighted faith, the mutual 
flame, 
The oft-attested Pow'rs above, 

The promised father's tender name. 
These were the pledges of my love ! 



IV. 

lincircled in her clasping arms, 
How have the raptur'd moments 
flown ! 
How have I wished for Fortune's 
charms, 
For her dear sake, and hers alone! 
And, must I think it ! is she gone. 



My secret hearths exulting boast ? 
And does she heedless hear my 
groan ? 
And is she ever, ever lost ? 



V. 

O ! can she bear so base a heart. 

So lost to honour, lost to truth. 
As from the fondest lover part, 
The plighted husband of her 

youth ? 
Alas ! Life's path may be unsmooth ! 
Her way may lie thro' rough distress ! 
Then, who her pangs and pains 
wdll soothe. 
Her sorrows share, and make them 
less ? 

VI. 

Ye winged Hours that o'er us pass'd, 

Enraptur'd more the more enjoy'd, 
Your dear remembrance in my breast 

My fondly treasur'd thoughts em- 
ploy'd : 

That breast, how dreary now, and 
void. 
For her too scanty once of room ! 

Ev'n ev'ry ray of Hope destroyed, 
And not a wish to gild the gloom ! 

VII. 

The morn, that warns th' approach- 
ing day, 
Awakes me up to toil and woe ; 
I see the hours in long array. 

That I must suffer, lingering slow : 
Full many a pang, and many a 
throe, 
Keen Recollection's direful train. 
Must wring my soul, ere Phoebus, 
low. 
Shall kiss the distant western main. 

VIII. 

And when my nightly couch I try, 
Sore-harass'd out with care and 
grief, 



42 



DESPONDENCY. 



My toil-beat nerves and tear-worn eye 
Keep watchings with the nightly 

thief: 
Or, if I slumber, Fancy, chief, 

Reigns, haggard-wild, in sore affright : 
Ev'n day, all-bitter, brings relief 

From such a horror-breathing night. 



IX. 

O thou bright Queen, who, o'er th' 
expanse 
Now highest reign'st, with bound- 
less sway ! 
Oft has thy silent-marking glance 
Observ'd us, fondly-wand'ring, stray! 
The time, unheeded, sped away, 
While Love's luxurious pulse beat 
high, 
Beneath thy silver-gleaming ray, 
To mark the mutual-kindling eye. 

X. 

O scenes in strong remembrance set ! 

Scenes, never, never to return ! 
Scenes if in stupor I forget. 

Again I feel, again I burn ! 

From evTy joy and pleasure torn, 
Life's weary vale I wander thro' ; 

And hopeless, comfortless, I *11 
mourn 
A faithless woman's broken vow ! 



DESPONDENCY. 

An Ode. 

[Composed, no doubt, a little after the 
"Lament." "Jean, it seems, had gone to 
Paisley. Highland Mary now occupied the 
empty heart." — ANDREW Lang.] 



Oppressed wdth grief, oppressed with 

care, 
A burden more than I can bear, 

I set me down and sigh ; 
O Life ! thou art a galling load, 



Along a rough, a weary road, 

To wretches such as I ! 
Dim-backward, as I cast my view. 
What sick'ning scenes appear ! 
What sorrows yet may pierce me thro', 
Too justly I may fear ! 
Still caring, despairing, 

Must be my bitter doom ; 
My woes here shall close ne'er 
But with the closinof tomb ! 



II. 

Happy ye sons of busy life. 
Who, equal to the bustling strife, 

No other view regard ! 
Ev'n wdien the wdshed end 's denied, 
Yet while the busy means are plied, 

They bring their own reward : 
Whilst I, a hope-abandoned wight, 

Unfitted with an aim. 
Meet ev'ry sad returning night 
And joyless morn the same. 
You, bustling and justling. 

Forget each grief and pain ; 
L listless yet restless. 
Find evi-y prospect vain. 



III. 

How blest the Sohtary's lot. 
Who, all-forgetting, all-forgot, 

Within his humble cell — 
The cavern, wild with tangling roots — 
Sits o'er his newly-gather'd fruits, 

Beside his crystal w^ll! 
Or haply to his ev'ning thought, 

By unfrequented stream. 
The ways of men are distant brought, 
A faint-collected dream ; 
While praising, and raising 

His thoughts to Heav'n on high, 
As wand'ring, meandering. 
He views the solemn sky. 



IV. 

Than I, no lonely hermit plac'd 
Where never human footstep trac'd. 

Less fit to play the part ; 
The lucky moment to improve, 



MAN WAS MADE TO MOURN. 



43 



And just to stop, and just to move, 

With self-respecting art : 
But ah ! those pleasures, loves, and 
joys, 
Which I too keenly taste, 
The Solitary can despise — 
Can want and yet be blest! 
He needs not, he heeds not 

Or human love or hate ; 
Whilst I here must cry here 
At perfidy ingrate ! 



O enviable early days, 
When dancing thoughtless piCasure's 
maze, 
To care, to guilt unknown ! 
How ill exchanged for riper time 
To feel the follies or the crimes 

Of others, or my own ! 
Ye tiny elves that guiltless sport, 

Like linnets in the bush, 
Ye little know the ills ye court, 
When manhood is your wish ! 
The losses, the crosses 

That active man engage ; 
The fears all, the tears all 
Of dim declining Age ! 



MAN WAS MADE TO MOURN. 

A Dirge. 

[In a letter to Mrs. Dunlop, Aug. lo, 
1788, Burns tells of an old grand-uncle who 
had gone blind. " His most voluptuous 
enjoyment was to sit down and cry, while 
my mother would sing the simple old song 
of ' The Life and Age of Man.* "] 

I. 

When chill November's surly blast 

Made fields and forests bare. 
One evening, as I wand'red forth 

Along the banks of Ayr, 
I spied a man, w^hose aged step 

Seemed weary, worn with care, 
His face was furrowed o'er with years, 

And hoary was his hair. 



II. 

' Young stranger, whither wand Vest 
thou ? 

Began the rev'rend Sage ; 
' Does thirst of wealth thy step con- 
strain, 

Or youthful pleasure's rage ? 
Or haply, prest with cares and woes. 

Too soon thou hast began 
To wander forth, with me to mourn 

The miseries of Man. 



III. 

' The sun that overhangs yon moors, 

Out-spreading far and wide, 
Where hundreds labour to support 

A haughty lordling's pride : 
I've seen yon weary winter-sun 

Twice forty times return ; 
And ev'ry time has added proofs, 

That Man was made to mourn. 



IV. 

' O Man ! while in thy early years. 

How prodigal of time ! 
Mis-spending all thy precious hours, 

Thy glorious, youthful prime ! 
Alternate follies take the sway, 

Licentious passions burn : 
Which tenfold force gives Nature's 
law, 

That Man was made to mourn. 



V. 

^ Look not alone on youthful prime, 

Or manhood's active might ; 
Man then is useful to his kind. 

Supported is his right ; 
But see him on the edge of life, 

With cares and sorrows worn ; 
Then Age and Want — O ill-match'd 
pair ! — 

Shew Man was made to mourn. 



VI. 

'- A few seem favourites of Fate, 
In Pleasure's lap carest ; 



44 



WINTER. 



Yet think not all the rich and great 

Are likewise truly blest : 
But oh ! what crowds in evi-y land, 

All wretched and forlorn, 
Thro- weary life this lesson learn, 

That Man was made to mourn. 

VII. 

• Many and sharp the numerous ills 

Inwoven with our frame ! 
More pointed still we make ourselves 

Regret, remorse, and shame ! 
And Man, whose heav'n-erected face 

The smiles of love adorn, — 
Man's inhumanity to man 

Makes countless thousands mourn! 

VIII. 

^ See yonder poor, o'erlabour'd wight, 

So abject, mean, and vile, 
Who begs a brother of the earth 

To give him leave to toil ; 
And see his lordly fellow-worm 

The poor petition spurn, 
Unmindful, tho' a weeping wife 

And helpless offspring mourn. 

IX. 

' If I 'm design^ yon lordling's slave — 

By Nature's law designed — 
Why was an independent wish 

E'er planted in my mind? 
If not, why am I subject to 

His cruelty, or scorn ? 
Or why has Man the will and powV 

To make his fellow mourn? 



' Yet let not this too much, my son, 

Disturb thy youthful breast : 
This partial view of human-kind 

Is surely not the last ! 
The poor, oppressed, honest man 

Had never, sure, been born, 
Had there not been some recom- 
pense 

To comfort those that mourn ! 



XI. 

' O Death ! the poor man's dearest 
friend, 

The kindest and the best ! 
Welcome the hour my aged limbs 

Are laid with thee at rest ! 
The great, the wealthy fear thy blow, 

From pomp and pleasure torn ; 
But, oh ! a blest relief to those 

That weary-laden mourn ! ' 



WINTER. 



A DIRGE. 



[The poet, in 1787, notes this as being 
the oldest of his printed poems. In April, 
1784, he had inserted it in his " Common- 
Place Book," prefaced with some eloquent 
remarks. Gilbert Burns affirms it to be a 
juvenile production.] 

I. 

The wintry west extends his blast, 

And hail and rain does blaw ; 
Or the stormy north sends driving 
forth 

The Winding sleet and snaw : 
Wild-tumbling brown, the burn comes 
down. 

And roars frae bank to brae : 
While bird and beast in covert rest, 

And pass the heartless day. 

II. 

' The sweeping blast, the sky overcast,' 

The joyless winter day 
Let others fear, to me more dear 

Than all the pride of May : 
The tempest's howl, it soothes my 
soul. 

My griefs it seems to join ; 
The leafless trees my fancy please, 

Their fate resembles mine ! 

III. 

Thou PowV Supreme, whose mighty 
scheme 
These woes of mine fulfil, 



TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY. 



45 



Here, firm I rest, they must be best, 
Because they are Thy will ! 

Then all I want (O, do Thou grant 
This one request of mine !) : 

Since to enjoy Thou dost deny, 
Assist me to resign. 



A PRAYER IN THE PROS- 
PECT OF DEATH. 

[The poet entered these verses in his 
early "Common-Place Book" under this 
title: "A prayer when fainting-fits, and 
other alarming symptoms of a pleurisy or 
some other dangerous disorder, which in- 
deed still threaten me, first put nature on 
the alarm." It has been assigned by some 
authorities to the year 178 1; by others, to 
the year 1784.] 

O Thou unknown, Almighty Cause 

Of all my hope and fear ! 
In whose dread presence, ere an hour, 

Perhaps I must appear ! 

If I have w^ander'd in those paths 

Of life I ought to shun — 
As something, loudly, in my breast, 

Remonstrates I have done- — 

Thou know'st that Thou hast formed 
me 

With passions wild and strong ; 
And listening to their witching voice 

Has often led me wrong. 

Where human weakness has come 
short, 
Or frailty stept aside. 
Do Thou, All-good — for such Thou 
art — 
In shades of darkness hide. 

Where with intention I have err'd, 

No other plea I have. 
But, Thou art good ; and Goodness 
still 

Delighteth to forgive. 



TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY. 

ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE 
PLOUGH IN APRIL 1 786. 

[On the 2oth of April, 1786, the poet 
transcribed these verses, under the title of 
"The Gowan,"to his friend John Kennedy, 
with these words : " 1 have -here enclosed a 
small piece, the very latest of my produc- 
tions," etc.] 



Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flowY, 
Thou 's met me in an evil hour ; 
For I maun crush amang the stoure 

Thy slender stem : 
To spare thee now is past my pow'r, 

Thou bonie gem. 



II. 

Alas ! it 's no thy neebor sweet, 
The bonie lark, companion meet. 
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet, 

Wi' spreckPd breast ! 
When upward-springing, blythe, to 
greet 

The purpling east. 



III. 

Cauld blew the bitter-biting north 
Upon thy early, humble birth ; 
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth 

Amid the storm. 
Scarce rear'd above the parent-earth 

Thy tender form. 



IV. 

The flaunting flow'rs our gardens 

yield. 
High sheltering woods and wa's 

maun shield ; 
But thou, beneath the random bield 

O' clod or stane. 
Adorns the histie stibble-field, 
Unseen, alane. 



46 



TO RUIN. 



V. 

There, in thy scanty mantle clad. 
Thy snawie bosom sun-ward spread, 
Thou lifts thy unassuming head 

In humble guise ; 
But now the share uptears thy bed, 

And low thou Hes! 



VI. 

Such is the fate of artless maid, 
Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade ! 
By love's simplicity betray^, 

And guileless trust ; 
Till she, like thee, all soiFd, is laid 

Low i' the dust. 



VII. 



Such is the fate of simple Bard. 
On- Life's rough ocean luckless 

starred ' 
Unskilful he to note the card 

Of prudent lore, 
Till billows rage, and gales blow 
hard, 

And whelm him o^er ! 



VIII. 

Such fate to suffering Worth is giv'n. 
Who long with wants and woes has 

striv'n, 
By human pride or cunning driv'n 

To misery's brink ; 
Till, wrench'd of evVy stay but 
Heav'n, 

He, ruin'd, sink! 

IX. 

Ev*n thou who mourn^st the Daisy's 

fate, 
That fate is thine — no distant date ; 
Stern Ruin's plough-share drives 
elate. 

Full on thy bloom, 
Till crushed beneath the furrow^s 
weight 

Shall be thy doom ! 



TO RUIN. 

[It would appear that this piece dates 
from the close of Burns's residence at 
Irvine, in 1782, when, to crown his mis- 
fortunes, he was, as he relates in his Auto- 
biographical Letter, jilted, " with peculiar 
circumstances of mortification," by one 
"who had pledged her soul to marry 
him."] 



I. 



destruction - breathinjr 



All hail, inexorable lord! 
At whose 
word. 
The mightiest empires fall! 
Thy cruel, woe-delighted train. 
The ministers of grief and pain, 

A sullen welcome, all ! 
With stern-resolv'd, despairing eye, 

I see each aimed dart ; 
For one has cut my dearest tie, 
And quivers in my heart. 
Then lowering and pouring. 

The storm no more I dread ; 
Tho' thickening and black'- 
ning 
Round my devoted head. 



II. 



And thou grim PowV, by Life ab- 
horred 
While Life a pleasure can afford, 

O ! hear a wretches pray V ! 
No more I shrink appalPd, afraid ; 
I court, I beg thy friendly aid. 
To close this scene of care ! 
When shall my soul, in silent peace. 

Resign Life's joyless day? 
My weary heart its throbbings 
cease, 
Cold-mouldVing in the clay ? 
No fear more, no tear more 
To stain my lifeless face. 
Enclasped and grasped 
Within thy cold embrace ! 



EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND. 



47 



EPISTLE TO A YOUNG 
FRIEND. 

May 1786. 

[The " young friend " of this " Epistle " 
was Andrew Hunter Aiken, son of Robert 
Aiken of Ayr.] 

I. 

I LANG hae thought J my youthfu^ 
friend, 

A something to have sent you, 
The' it should serve nae ither end 

Than just a kind memento : 
But how the subject-theme may gang, 

Let time and chance determine : 
Perhaps it may turn out a sang ; 

Perhaps, turn out a sermon. 



II. 

Ye '11 try the world soon, my lad ; 

And, Andrew dear, believe me, 
Ye '11 find mankind an unco squad, 

And muckle they may grieve ye : 
For care and trouble set your thought, 

Ev'n when your end 's attained ; 
And a' your views may come to 
nought. 

Where ev'ry nerve is strained. 



III. 

I ""ll no say, men are villains a' : 

The real, hardened wicked, 
Wha hae nae check but human law, 

Are to a few restricked ; 
But, och ! mankind are unco weak 

An' little to be trusted ; 
If Self the wavering balance shake, 

It 's rarely right adjusted ! 



IV. 

Yet they wha fa' in Fortune's strife, 
Their fate we should na censure ; 

For still, th' important end of life 
They equally may answer : 



A man may hae an honest heart, 
Tho' poortith hourly stare him ; 

A man may tak a neebor's part. 
Yet hae nae cash to spare him. 



Ay free, aflf han', your story tell, 

When wi' a bosom cronie ; 
But still keep something to yoursel 

Ye scarcely tell to onie : 
Conceal yoursel as weel 's ye can 

Frae critical dissection : 
But keek thro' ev'ry other man 

Wi' sharpen'd, sly inspection. 



VI. 

The sacred lowe o' weel-plac'd'love, 

Luxuriantly indulge it ; 
But never tempt th' illicit rove, 

Tho' naething should divulge it : 
I waive the quantum o' the sin, 

The hazard of concealing ; 
But, och ! it hardens a' within, 

And petrifies the feeling ! 

VII. 

To catch Dame Fortune's golden 
smile, 

Assiduous wait upon her ; 
And gather gear by ev'ry wile 

That 's justify'd by honor : 
Not for to hide it in a hedge. 

Nor for a train-attendant ; 
But for the glorious privilege 

Of being independent. 



VIII. 

The fear o' Hell 's a hangman's whip 

To hand the wretch in order ; 
But where ye feel your honour grip. 

Let that ay be your border : 
Its slightest touches, instant pause— 

Debar a' side-pretences ; 
And resolutely keep its laws, 

Uncaring consequences. 



aB 



ON A SCOTCH BARD. 



IX. 

The great Creator to revere 

Must sure become the creature ; 
But still the preaching cant forbear, 

And evil the rigid feature : 
Yet ne'er with wits profane to range 

Be complaisance extended; 
An atheist-laugh 's a poor exchange 

For Deity offended ! 

X. 

When ranting round in Pleasure's ring, 

Religion may be blinded ; 
Or if she gie a random sting, 

It may be little minded ; 
But when on Life we ^'e tempest- 
driven — 

A conscience but a canker — 
A correspondence fix^d wi' Heav'n 

Is sure a noble anchor ! 



XI. 

Adieu, dear, amiable youth ! 

Your heart can ne'er be wanting ! 
May prudence, fortitude, and truth, 

Erect your brow undaunting ! 
In ploughman phrase, * God send you 
speed,' 

Still daily to grow wiser ; 
And may ye better reck the rede, 

Than ever did th' adviser ! 



ON A SCOTCH BARD. 

GONE TO THE WEST INDIES. 

[Probably among the the latest poems 
written for the Kilmarnock edition. While 
it was in progress Burns was maturing his 
plans for emigration.] 

I. 

A' YE wha live by sowps o^ drink, 
A' ye wha live by crambo-clink, 
A' ye wha live and never think, 

Come, mourn wi' me ! 
Our billie 's gien us a' a jink, 

An' owre the sea ! 



II. 

Lament him a' ye rantin core, 
Wha dearly like a random-splore ; 
Nae mair he '11 join the merry roar 

In social key ; 
For now he 's taen anitlier shore^ 

An' owre the sea ! 

III. 

The bonie lasses weel may wiss him, 
And in their dear petitions place him : 
The widows, wives, an' a' may l^less 
him 

Wi' tearfu' e'e. 
For weel I wat they '11 sairly miss him 
That 's owre the sea! 

IV. 

O Fortune, they hae room to grumble! 
Hadst thou taen aff some drowsy 

bummle, 
Wha can do nought but fyke an' 
fumble, 

'T wad been nae plea ; 
But he was gleg as onie wumble, 
That 's owre the sea! 

V. 

Auld, cantie Kyle may weepers wear, 
An' stain them wi' the saut, saut tear : 
'T will mak her poor auld heart, I fear, 

In flinders flee : 
He was her Laureat monie a year^ 

That's owre the sea! 

VI. 

He saw Misfortune's cauld nor-west 
Lang-mustering up a bitter blast ' 
A jillet brak his heart at last, 

111 may she be! 
So, took a birth afore the mast, 

An' owre the sea. 

VII. 

To tremble under Fortune's cum- 

mock. 
On scarce a bellyfu' o' drummock, 



A DEDICATION. 



49 



Wr his proud, independent stomach, 

Could ill agree ; 
So, row't his hurdles in a hammock, 

An' owre the sea. 

VIII. 

He ne'er Tvas gien to great misguiding. 
Yet coin his pouches wad na bide in ; 
\Vi' him it ne'er was under hiding, 

He dealt it free : 
The Muse was a' that he took 
pride in, 

That 's owre the sea. 



IX. 

Jamaica bodies, use him weel, 
An" hap him in a cozie biel : 
Ye *11 find him ay a dainty chiel, 

An' fou o' glee : 
He wad na wrang'd the vera Deil, 

That 's owre the sea. 



X, 

Fareweel, my rhyme-composing bilHe! 
Your native soil was right ill-willie ; 
But may ye flourish like a lily, 

Now bonilie I 
I '11 toast you in my hindmost gillie, 

Tho' owre the sea! 



A DEDICATION, 

TO GAVIN HAMILTON, ESQ. 

[This Dedication did not open the vol- 
ume published at Kilmarnock, as might 
have 'been expected, but found a place in 
the body of the work.] 

Expect na, Sir, in this narration, 
A fleechin. fleth'rin Dedication, 
To roose you up, an' ca' you guid, 
An' sprung o' great an' noble bluid, 
Because ye *re surnam'd like His 

Grace, 
Perhaps related to the race : 
Then, when I 'm tired — and sae are ye, 
Wi' monie a fulsome, sinfu' lie — 



Set up a face how I stop short, 
For fear your modesty be hurt. 

This may do — maun do, Sir, wi' 
them wha 
Maun please the great-folk for a 

wamefou' ; 
For me! sae laigh I need na bow, 
For, Lord be thankit, I can plough ; 
And when I downa yoke a naig, 
Then, Lord be thankit, I can beg ; 
Sae I shall say, an' that 's nae flatt nn. 
It 's just sic poet an' sic patron. 

The Poet, some guid angel help 
him. 
Or else, I fear, some ill ane skelp him ! 
He may do weel for a' he 's done yet. 
But only he 's no just begun yet. 

The Patron (sir, ye maun forgie 

me; 
I winna lie, come what will o' me). 
On ev'ry hand it will allow'd be. 
He 's just — nae better than he should 

be, 

I readily and freely grant. 
He downa see a poor man want ; 
What 's no his ain hewinna tak it ; 
What ance he says, he winna break it ; 
Ought he can lend he '11 no refus 't. 
Till aft his guidness is abus'd ; 
And rascals whyles that do him wrang, 
Ev'n that, he does na mind it lang : 
As master, landlord, husband, father, 
He does na fail his part in either. 

But then, nae thanks to him for a 

that; 
Nae godly symptom ye can ca' that ; 
It 's naething but a milder feature 
Of our poor, sinfu', corrupt nature : 
Ye '11 get the best o' moral works, 
\Mang black Gentoos, and pagan 

Turks, 
Or hunters wild on Ponotaxi, 
Wha never heard of orthodoxy. 



so 



A DEDICATION. 



That he's the poor man's friend in 

need, 
The gentleman in word and deed, 
It 's no thro' terror of damnation : 
It \s just a carnal inclination, 
And och! that 's nae regeneration. 

Morality, thou deadly bane. 
Thy tens o' thousands thou hast 

slain ! 
Vain is his hope, whase stay an' trust 

is 
In moral mercy, truth, and justice ! 

No — stretch a point to catch a 
plack ; 
Abuse a brother to his back ; 
Steal thro' the winnock frae a whore. 
But point the rake that taks the door ; 
Be to the poor like onie whunstane, 
And hand their noses to the grun- 

stane ; 
Ply ev'ry art o' legal thieving ; 
No matter — stick to sound believing. 

Learn three-mile pray'rs an' half- 
mile graces, 
Wi' weel-spread looves, an' lang, wry 

faces ; 
Grunt up a solemn, lengthen'd groan, 
And damn a' parties but your own ; 
I '11 warrant then, ye *re nae deceiver, 
A steady, sturdy, staunch believer. 

O ye wha leave the springs o' Cal- 
vin, 

For gumlie dubs of your ain delvin ! 

Ye sons of Heresy and Error, 

Ye '11 some day squeel in quaking 
terror. 

When vengeance draws the sword in 
wrath. 

And in the fire throws the sheath ; 

When Ruin, with his sweeping 
besom, 

Just frets till Heav'n commission 
gies him ; 

While o'er the harp pale Misery 
moans, 

And strikes the ever-deep'ning tones. 



Still louder shrieks, and heaviei 



groans 



Your pardon, sir, for this digres- 
sion : 
I maist forgat my Dedication ; 
But when divinity comes 'cross me, 
My readers still are sure to lose me. 

So, Sir, you see 'twas nae daft 
vapour ; 
But I maturely thought it proper, 
When a' my works I did review, 
To dedicate them. Sir, to you : 
Because (ye need na tak' it ill), 
I thought them something like your- 
sel. 

Then patronize them wi' your 

favor. 
And your petitioner shall ever — 
I had amaist said, ever pray. 
But that 's a word I need na say ; 
For prayin, I hae little skill o 't 
I 'm baith dead-sweer, an' wretched 

ill o 't ; 
But I 'se repeat each poor man's 

pray'r. 
That kens or hears about you, Sir : — 

^May ne'er Misfortune's gowling 

bark 
Howl thro' the dwelling o' the clerk ! 
May ne'er his gen'rous, honest heart. 
For that same gen'rous spirit smart ! 
May Kennedy's far-honor'd name 
Lang beet his hymeneal flame. 
Till Hamiltons, at least a dizzen. 
Are frae their nuptial labors risen : 
Five bonie lasses round their table. 
And sev'n braw fellows, stout an' 

able. 
To serve their king an' country weel, 
By word, or pen, or pointed steel I 
May Health and Peace, with mutual 

rays. 
Shine on the ev'ning o' his days ; 
Till his wee, curlie John's ier-oe, 
When ebbing life nae mair shall flow, 
The last, sad, mournful rites bestow!^ 



TO A LOUSE. 



51 



I will not wind a lang conclusion^ 
With complimentary effusion ; 
But, whilst your wishes and endeav- 
ours 
Are blest with Fortune's smiles and 

favours, 
I am, dear sir, with zeal most fervent, 
Your much indebted, humble servant. 

But if (which Pow'rs above pre- 
vent) 
That iron- hearted carl, Want, 
Attended, in his grim advances, 
By sad mistakes, and black mis- 
chances. 
While hopes, and joys, and pleasures 

fly him. 
Make you as poor a dog as I am. 
Your ' humble servant ' then no 

more ; 
For who would humbly serve the 

poor? 
But, by a poor man's hopes in Heav'n! 
While recollection's powY is giv'n, 
If, in the vale of humble life, 
The victim sad of Fortune's strife, 
I, thro' the tender-gushing tear. 
Should recognise my master dear ; 
If friendless, low, we meet together, 
Then, sir, your hand — my Friend 
and Brother! 



TO A LOUSE. 

ON SEEING ONE ON A LADY^S 
BONNET AT CHURCH. 

[" The success of the last verse redeems 
a rather painful performance. The insect 
was ;;<?/ treasured as a relic, like the ' flea 
that loupit on Prince Charlie.' " — ANDREW 
LANG.] 

I. 

Ha! w^hare ye gaun, ve crowlin fer- 

he? 
Your impudence protects you sairly, 
I canna say but ye strunt rarely 
Owre gauze and lace, 



Tho' faith! I fear ye dine but sparely 
On sic a place. 

II. 

Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner. 
Detested, shumi'd by saunt an' 

sinner. 
How daur ye set your fit upon her — 

Sae fine a lady ! 
Gae somewhere else and seek your 
dinner 

On some poor body. 

III. 

Swith ! in some beggar's haufifet 

squattle : 
There ye may creep, and sprawl, and 

sprattle, 
Wi' ither kindred, jumping cattle. 
In shoals and nations ; 
Whare horn nor bane ne'er daur un- 
settle 

Your thick plantations. 



IV. 

Now hand you there ! ye Ve out o' 

sight. 
Below the fattVils, snug an' tight ; 
Na, faith ye yet I ye '11 no be right, 

Till ye 've got on it — 
The vera tapmost, towVing height 

O' Miss's bonnet. 



V. 

My sooth ! right bauld ye set your 

nose out. 
As plump an' grey as onie grozet : 

for some rank, mercurial rozet, 

Or fell, red smeddum, 

1 'd gie ye sic a hearty dose o 't. 

Wad dress your droddum. 

VI. 

I wad na been surprised to spy 
You on an auld wife's flainen toy ; 
Or aibhns some bit duddie boy, 
On 's wyliecoat ; 



.'^^ 



EPISTLE TO J. LAPRAIK. 



But Miss's fine Lunardi ! fye ! 
How daur ye do 't? 

VII. 

O Jenny, dinna toss your head, 
An' set your beauties a' abread ! 
Ye little ken what cursed speed 

The blastie 's makin ! 
Thae winks an' finger-ends, I dread, 

Are notice takin ! 

VIII. 

O wad some Power the giftie gie us 
To see oursels as ithers see us ! 
It wad frae monie a blunder free us, 

An' foolish notion : 
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e 



us, 



An' ev'n devotion ! 



EPISTLE TO J. LAPRAIK. 

AN OLD SCOTTISH BARD, APRIL I, 

1785. 

[" The song, admired by Burns, was pil- 
fered by Lapraik from (or contributed by 
him to) ' The Weekly Magazine,' October 
14, 1773 (Chambers). The poem here is 
Burns's 'Ars Poetica ' : possibly his rhymes 
had been censured by some collegian. 
Otherwise it is not easy to account for his 
attack on Greek, a language of which he 
had no more than Scott, and perhaps less 
than Shakespeare. Lapraik published his 
verses in 1788 ; they are collected by Burns- 
ians." — Andrew 'Lang.] 



While briers an' woodbines budding 

green. 
And paitricks scraichin loud at e'en, 
An' morning poussie whiddin seen, 

Inspire my Muse, 
This freedom, in an unknown frien' 

I pray excuse. 

II. • 

On Fasten-e'en we had a rockin, 
To ca' the crack and weave our 
stockin ; 



And there was muckle fun and jokin, 

Ye need na doubt ; 
At length we had a hearty yokin, 



At ' sang about.' 



III. 



There was ae sang, amang the rest, 
Aboon them a' it pleas'd me best, 
That some kind husband had addrest 

To some sweet wife : 
It thirPd the heart-strings thro' the 
breast, 

A' to the life. 

IV. 

I 've scarce heard ought described sae 

weel. 
What gen'rous, manly bosoms feel ; 
Thought I, ^Can this be Pope or 
Steele, 

Or Beattie's wark ? " 
They tald me 'twas an odd kind chiei 
About Muirkirk. 

V. 

It pat me fidgin-fain to hear't, 
An' sae about him there I spier H ; 
Then a' that kent him round declar'd 

He had ingine ; 
That nane excell'd it, few cam near't, 

It was sae fine : 

VI. 

That, set him to a pint of ale, 
An' either douce or merry tale. 
Or rhymes an' sangs he *d made him- 
sel. 

Or witty catches, 
'Tween Inverness an' Teviotdale, 
Jle had few matches. 

VII. 

Then up I gat, an' swoor an aith, 
Tho' I should paw^n my pleugh an' 

graith. 
Or die a cadger pownie's death. 

At some dyke-back, 
A pint an' gill I 'd gie them baith, 

To hear your crack. 



EPISTLE TO J. LAPRAIK. 



53 



VIII. 

But, first an^ foremost, I sliould tell. 
Amaist as soon as I could spell, 
I to the crambo-jingle fell; 

Tho' rude an^ rough — 
Yet crooning to a body^s sel, 

Does weel eneugh. 



IX. 

I am nae poet, in a sense ; 

But just a rhymer like by chance. 

An' hae to learning nae pretence ; 

Yet what the matter? 
Whene'er my Muse does on me 
glance, 

I jingle at her. 



X. 

Your critic-folk may cock their nose, 
And say, ' How can you e'er propose, 
You wha ken hardly verse frae prose, 

To mak a sang ? ' 
But, by your leaves, my learned foes. 

Ye 're maybe wrang. 



XI. 

What's a' your jargon o' your 



for horns an' 



Schools, 
Your Latin names 

stools ? 
If honest Nature made you fools, 

What sairs your grammers ? 
Ye 'd better taen up spades and 
shools, 

Or knappin-hammers. 



XII. 

A set o' dull, conceited hashes 
Confuse their brains in college-classes, 
They gang in stirks, and come out 
asses, 

Plain truth to speak ; 
An' syne they think to climb Par- 
nassus 

By dint o' Greek! 



XIII. 

Gie me ae spark o' Nature's fire. 
That 's a' the learning I desire ; 
Then, tho' I drudge thro' dub an' 
mire 

At pleugh or cart. 
My Muse, tho' hamely in attire, 

May touch the heart. 



XIV. 

for a spunk o' Allan's glee. 

Or Fergusson's, the bauld an' slee, 
Or bright Lapraik's, my friend to be, 

If I can hit it ! 
That would be lear eneugh for me, 

If I could get it. 

XV. 

Now, sir, if ye hae friends enow, 
Tho' real friends I b'lieve are few ; 
Yet, if your catalogue be fow, 

I 'se no insist : 
But, gif ye want ae friend that 's true, 

I 'm on your list. 

XVI. 

1 winna blaw about mysel. 
As ill I like my fauts to tell ; 

But friends, an' folks that wish me 
well, 

They sometimes roose me ; 
Tho', I maun own, as monie still 

As far abuse me. 

XVII. 

There 's ae wee faut they whyles lay 

to me, 
I like the lasses — Gude forgie me ! 
For monie a plack they wheedle frae 
me 

At dance or fair ; 
Maybe some ither thing they gie me. 
They weel can spare. 

XVIII. 

But Mauchline Race or Mauchline 
Fair, 



54 



SECOND EPISTLE TO J. LAPRAIK. 



T should be proud to meet you there : 
We'se gie ae night's discharge to 
care. 

If we forgather; 
And hae a swap o' rhymin-ware 

Wi' ane anither. 



XIX. 

The four-gill chap, we'se gar him 

clatter, 
An^ kirsen him wi^ reekin water ; 
Syne we Ul sit down an^ tak out whitter, 

To cheer our heart ; 
An^ faith, we \se be acquainted better 
Before we part. 



XX. 

Awa ye selfish, w^arly race, 

Wha think that havins, sense, an' 

grace, 
Ev^n love an' friendship should give 
place 

To Catch-the-Plack ! 
I dinna like to see your face. 

Nor hear your crack. 



XXI. 

But ye whom social pleasure charms, 
Whose hearts the tide of kindness 

warms, 
Who hold your being on the terms, 

• Each aid the others,' 
Come to my bowl, come to my arms. 
My friends, my brothers ! 



xxri. 

But, to conclude my lang epistle, 
As my auld pen 's worn to the grissle, 
Twa lines frae you wad gar me fissle. 

Who am most fervent, 
While I can either sing or whistle. 

Your friend and servant. 



SECOND EPISTLE TO J. LA- 
PRAIK. 

APRIL 21, 1785. 

[Entered in the " First Common-Place 
Book" under "The First Epistle," with 
this explanation : " On receiving an answer 
to the above, Burns wrote the follow- 
ing:-"] 

I. 

While new-ca'd kye rowte at the 

stake 
An' pownies reek in pleugh or braik, 
This hour on e'enin's edge I take. 

To own I 'm debtor 
To honest-hearted, auld Lapraik, 

For his kind letter. 



IT. 



Forjesket sair, with weary legs, 
Rattlin the corn out-owre the rigs. 
Or dealing thro' amang the naigs 

Their ten-hours' bite, 
My awkart Muse sair pleads and begs, 

1 would na write. 



III. 

The tapetless, ramfeezl'd hizzie, 

She 's saft at best, an' something 

lazy : 
Quo' she : ' Ye ken we 've been sae 
busy 

This month an' mair, 
That trowth, my head is grown right 
dizzie. 

An' something sair.' 

IV. 

Her dowff excuses pat me mad : 

' Conscience,' says I, ' ye thowless jad ! 

I '11 write, an' that a hearty blaud. 

This vera night ; 
So dinna ye affront your trade. 

But rhyme it right. 



SECOND EPISTLE TO J. LAPRAIK. 



5S 



V. 

' Shall bauld Lapraik, the king o^ 

hearts, 
Tho^ mankind were a pack -o^ cartes, 
Roose you sae weel for your deserts, 

In terms sae friendly ; 
Yet ye '11 neglect to shaw your parts 
An' thank him kindly? ' 

VI. 

Sae I gat paper in a blink, 

An' down gaed stumpie in the ink : 

Quoth I : ' Before I sleep a wink, 

I vow I '11 close it : 
An' if ye winna mak it clink, 

By Jove, I '11 prose it ! ' 

VII. 

Sae I 've begun to scrawl, but whether 
In rhyme, or prose, or baith thegither, 
Or some hotch-potch that's rightly 
neither, 

Let time mak proof; 
But I shall scribble down some blether 
Just clean aff-loof. 

VIII. 

My worthy friend, ne'er grudge an' 

carp, 
Tho' Fortune use you hard an' sharp ; 
Come, kittle up your moorland harp 

Wi' gleesome touch ! 
Ne'er mind how Fortune waft an' 



warp ; 



She 's but a bitch. 



IX. 



She 's gien me monie a jirt an' fleg. 
Sin' I could striddle owre a rig ; 
But, by the Lord, tho' I should beg 

Wi' lyart pow, 
I '11 laugh an' sing, an' shake my leg, 



As lang 's I dow ! 



Now comes the sax-an-twentieth sim- 
mer 



I 've seen the bud upo^ the timmer, 
Still persecuted by the limmer 

Frae year to year ; 
But yet, despite the kittle kimmer, 

I, Rob, am here. 

XI. 

Do ye envy the city gent, 

Behint a kist to lie an' sklent ; 

Or purse-proud, big wi' cent, per cent. 

An' muckle wame. 
In some bit brugh to represent 

A bailie's name 1 

XII. 

Or is 't the paughty feudal thane, 
Wi' ruffl'd sark an' glancing cane, 
Wha thinks himsel nae sheep-shank 
bane. 

But lordly stalks ; 
While caps an' bonnets aff are taen, 

As by he walks ? 

XIII. 

' O Thou wha gies us each guid gift ! 
Gie me o' wit an' sense a lift. 
Then, turn me, if Thou please, adrift 

Thro' Scotland wide ; 
Wi' cits nor lairds I wadna shift. 

In a' their pride! ' 

XIV. 

Were this the charter of our state, 
' On pain o' hell be rich an' great,' 
Damnation then would be our fate. 

Beyond remead ; 
But, thanks to heaven, that 's no the 
gate 

We learn our creed. 

XV. 

For thus the royal mandate ran. 
When first the human race began : 
' The social, friendly, honest man, 

Whate'er he be, 
'T is he fulfils great Nature's plan, 

And none but he.' 



56 



TO WILLIAM SIMPSON OF OCHILTREE. 



XVI. 

O mandate glorious and divine ! 
The followers o' the ragged Nine — 
Poor, thoughtless devils! — yet may 
shine 

In glorious light ; 
While sordid sons o' Mammon's line 

Are dark as night! 



XVII. 

Tho' here they scrape, an' squeeze, 

an' growl. 
Their worthless neivefu' of a soul 
May in some future carcase howl, 

The forest's fright ; 
Or in some day-detesting owl 

May shun the light. 



XVIII, 

Then may Lapraik and Burns arise, 
To reach their native, kindred skies. 
And sing their pleasures, hopes an' 
joys, 

In some mild sphere ; 
Still closer knit in friendship's ties. 
Each passing year! 



TO WILLIAM SIMPSON OF 
OCHILTREE. 

MAY 1785. 

[William Simpson was the schoolmaster 
of Ochiltree. He was born Aug. 23, 1758; 
died July 4, 1815.] 



I GAT your letter, winsome Willie ; 
Wi' gratefu' heart I thank you 

brawlie ; 
Tho' I maun say 't, I wad be silly 

And unco vain, 
Should I believe, my coaxin billie. 

Your flatterin strain. 



II. 

But I 's believe ye kindly meant it : 
I sud be laith to think ye hinted 
Ironic satire, sidelins sklented. 
On my poor Musie ; 
Tho' in sic phraisin terms ye've 
penn'd it, 

I scarce excuse ye. 

III. 

My senses wad be in a creel. 
Should I but dare a hope to speel, 
Wi' Allan, or wi' Gilbertfield, 

The braes o' fame ; 
Or Fergusson, the writer-chiel, 

A deathless name. 



IV. 

(O Fergusson! thy glorious parts 

111 suited law's dry, musty arts ! 

My curse upon your whunstane hearts. 

Ye E'nbrugh gentry! 
The tythe o' what ye waste at cartes 

Wad stow'd his pantry!) 

V. 

Yet when a tale comes i' my head, 
Or lasses gie my heart a screed — 
As whyles they re like to be my dead, 

(O sad disease!) 
I kittle up my rustic reed ; 

It gies me ease. 

VI. 

Auld Coila, now, may fidge fu' fain. 
She 's gotten bardies o' her ain ; 
Chiels wha their chanters winnahain. 

But tune their lays. 
Till echoes a' resound again 

Her weel-sung praise. 

VII. 

Nae Poet thought her worth his while, 
To set her name in measur'd style ; 
She lay hke some unkend-of isle 
Beside New Holland, 



TO WILLIAM SIMPSON OF OCHILTREE. 



57 



Or whare wild-meeting oceans boil 
Besouth Magellan. 



VIII. 

Ramsay an' famous Fergusson 
Gied Forth an' Tay a lift aboon ; 
Yarrow an' Tweed, to monie a tune, 

Owre Scotland rings ; 
While Irwin, Lugar, Ayr, an' Doon 

Naebody sings. 

IX. 

Th' missus, Tiber, Thames, an' Seine, 
Glide sweet in monie a tunefu' line : 
But, Willie, set your fit to mine, 
An' cock your crest ! 
We'll gar our streams and burnies 



shine 



Up wi' the best. 



X. 



We '11 sing auld Coila's plains an' fells, 
Her moors red-brown wi' heather 

bells, 
Her banks an' braes, her dens an' 
dells, 

Whare glorious Wallace 
Aft bure the gree, as story tells, 
Frae Suthron billies. 

XI. 

At Wallace' name, what Scottish 

blood 
But boils up in a spring-tide flood ? 
Oft have our fearless fathers strode 

By Wallace' side, 
Still pressing onward, red-wat-shod, 
Or glorious dy'd ! 

XII. 

O, sweet are Coila's haughs an' woods, 
When lintwhites chant amang the 

buds, 
And jinkin hares, in amorous whids, 

Their loves enjoy ; 
While thro' the braes the cushat 
croods 

With wailfu' cry ! 



XIII. 

Ev'n winter bleak has charms to me, 
When winds rave thro' the naked 

tree ; 
Or frosts on hills of Ochiltree 

Are hoary gray ; 
Or blinding drifts wild-furious flee, 

Dark'ning the day ! 

XIV. 

O Nature ! a' thy shews an' forms 
To feeling, pensive hearts hae charms! 
Whether the summer kindly warms, 

Wi' life an' light ; 
Or winter howls, in gusty storms. 

The lang, dark night ! 

XV. 

The Muse, nae poet ever fand her. 
Till by himsel he learn'd to wander, 
Adown some trottin burn's meander, 

An' no think lang : 
O, sweet to stray, an' pensive ponder 

A heart-felt sang ! 

XVI. 

The warly race may drudge an' drive, 
Hog-shouther, jundie, stretch, an' 

strive : 
Let me fair Nature's face descrive, 

And I, wi' pleasure. 
Shall let the busy, grumbling hive 
Bum owre their treasure. 

XVII. 

Fareweel, my rhyme-composing 

brither ! 
We 've been owre lang unkend to ither : 
Now let us lay our heads thegither, 

In love fraternal : 
May Envy wallop in a tether. 

Black fiend, infernal ! 

XVIII. 

While Highlandmen hate tolls an' 

taxes ; 
While moorlan' herds like guid, fat 

braxies ; 



TO WILLIAM SIMPSON OF OCHILTREE. 



While Terra Firma, on her axis, 

Diurnal turns ; 
Count on a friend, in faith an^ practice, 

In Robert Burns. 



Postscript. 



XIX, 



My memory 's no worth a preen : 

I had amaist forgotten clean, 

Ye bade me write you what they mean 

By this New-Light, 
'Bout which our herds sae aft hae been 



Maist like to fight. 



XX. 



In days when mankind were but cal- 

lans ; 
At grammar, logic, an' sic talents. 
They took nae pains their speech to 
balance. 

Or rules to gie ; 
But spak their thoughts in plain, braid 
Lallans, 

Like you or me. 

XXI. 

In thae auld times, they thought the 

moon. 
Just like a sark, or pair o' shoon, 
Wore by degrees, till her last roon 

Gaed past their viewin ; 
An' shortly after she was done. 

They gat a new ane. 

XXII. 

Til is past for certain, undisputed ; 
It ne'er cam V their heads to doubt it, 
Till chiels gat up an' wad confute it. 

An' ca'd it wrang ; 
An' muckle din there was about it, 

Baith loud an' lang. 

XXIII. 

Some herds, weel learned upo' the 
Beuk, 



Wad threap auld folk the thing mis- 

teuk ; 
For 't was the auld moon turn'd a neuk 

An' out o' sight. 
An' backlins-comin to the leuk. 
She grew mair bright. 

XXIV. 

This was deny'd, it was affirm'd ; 
The herds and hissels were alarm'd ; 
The rev'rend gray-beards rav'd an' 
storm'd. 

That beardless laddies 
Should think they better were in- 
form'd 

Than their auld daddies. 

XXV. 

Frae less to mair, it gaed to sticks ; 
Frae words an' aiths, to clours an' 

nicks ; 
An' monie a fallow gat his licks, 

Wi' hearty crunt ; 
An' some, to learn them for their 
tricks, 

Were hang'd an' brunt. 

XXVI. 

This game was play'd in monie lands, 
An' Auld-Light caddies bure sic 

hands. 
That faith, the youngsters took the 
sands 

Wi' nimble shanks 
Till lairds forbade, by strict com- 
mands, 

Sic bluidy pranks. 

XXVII. 

But New-Light herds gat sic a cowe, 
Folk thought them ruin'd stick-an- 

stowe ; 
Till now, amaist on ev'ry knowe 
Ye'll find ane placed ; 
An' some, their New-Light fair avow. 
Just quite barefac'd. 



EPISTLE TO JOHN RANKINE. 



59 



XXVIII. 

Nae doubt the Auld-Light flocks are 

bleatin ; 
Their zealous herds are vexM and 

sweatin ; 
Myselj I Ve even seen them greetin 

Wr girnin spite, 
To hear the moon sae sadly He'd on 
By word an' write. 

XXIX. 

But shortly they will cowe the louns! 
Some Auld-Light herds in neebor 

touns 
Are mind't, in things they ca' bal- 
loons, 

To tak a flight, 
An' stay ae month amang the moons 
An' see them rio^ht. 



XXX. 

Guid observation they will gie them ; 
An' when the auld moon 's gaun to 

lea'e them, 
The hindmost shaird, they '11 fetch it 
wi' them. 

Just i' their pouch ; 
An' when the New-Light billies see 
them, 

I think they'll crouch! 

XXXI. 

Sae, ye observe that a' this clatter 
Is naething but a ' moonshine mat- 
ter'; 
But tho' dull prose-folk Latin splatter 
* In logic tulzie, 

I hope we, Bardies, ken some better 
Than mind sic brulzie. 



EPISTLE TO JOHN RANKINE. 

ENCLOSING SOME POEMS. 

[Rankine was farmer at Adamhill, in the 
parish of Craigie, near Lochlie. His wit, 



his dreams, and his practical jokes were the 
talk of the countryside.] 

I. 

O ROUGH, rude, ready-witted Ran- 
kine, 
The wale o' cocks for fun an' drinkin'! 
There's monie godly folks are thinkin' 

Your dreams and tricks 
Will send you, Korah-like, a-sinkin 

Straught to Auld Nick's. 

II. 

Ye hae sae monie cracks an' cants, 
And in your wicked drucken rants, 
Ye mak a devil o' the saunts. 

An' fill them fou'; 
And then their failings, flaws, an' 
wants 

Are a' seen thro'. 

III. 

Hypocrisy, in mercy spare it ! 
That holy robe, O, dinna tear it ! 
Spare 't for their sakes, wha aften 
wear it — 

The lads in black ; 
But your curst wit, when it comes 
near it, 

Rives 't aff their back. 

IV. 

Think, wdcked sinner, wha ye 're 

skaithing : 
It's just the Blue-gown badge an' 

claithing 
O' saunts ; tak that, ye lea'e them 
naething 

To ken them by 
Frae onie unregenerate heathen, 
Like you or I. 



I've sent you here some rhyming 

ware 
A' that I bargain'd for, an' mair ; 
Sae, when ye hae an hour to spare, 
I will expect, 



6o 



SONG. 



Yon sang ye '11 sen't, \vi' cannie care, 



And no neglect. 



VI. 



Tho' faith, sma' heart hae I to sing : 
My Muse dow scarcely spread her 

wing! 
I Ve play'd mysel a bonie spring, 

An' danc'd my fill ! 
I 'd better gaen an' sair't the King 

At Bunker's Hill. 

VII. 

'T was ae night lately, in my fun, 

I gaed a rovin wi' the gun, 

An' brought a paitrick to the gmn' — 

A bonie hen ; 
And, as the twilight was begun, 

Thought nane wad ken. 



VIII 

The poor, wee thing was little hurt ; 
I straikit it a wee for sport. 
Ne'er thinkin they wad fash me 
for't; 

But, Deil-ma-care! 
Somebody tells the Poacher-Court 
The hale affair. 



IX. 

Some auld, us'd hands had taen a 

note. 
That sic a hen had got a shot ; 
I was suspected for the plot ; 

I scorn'd to lie ; 
So gat the whissle o' my groat, 
An' pay't the fee. 

X. 

But, by my gun, o' guns the wale. 
An' by my pouther an' my hail. 
An' by my hen, an' by her tail, 

I vow an' swear! 
The game shall pay owre moor an' 
dale. 

For this, niest year! 



XI. 



As soon 's the clockin-time is by, 
An' the wee pouts begun to cry. 
Lord, I 'se hae sportin by an' by 
For my gowd guinea ; 
Tho' I should herd the buckskin kye 



For 't, in Virginia ! 



XII. 



Trowth, they had muckle for to 

blame ! 
'T was neither broken wing nor limb. 
But tw^a-three chaps about the wame, 
Scarce thro' the feathers ; 
An' baith a yellow George to claim 
An' thole their blethers ! 

XIII. 

It pits me ay as mad 's a hare ; 

So I can rhyme nor write nae mair; 

But pennyworths again is fair. 

When time 's expedient : 
Meanwhile I am, respected Sir, 

Your most obedient. 



SONG. 



TUNE : Corn Rigs, 

[In his Autobiographical Letter to Dr. 
Moore, Burns includes this admirable lyric 
among the " rhymes " of his " early days," 
composed before his twenty-third year. 
But the early version was probably a mere 
fragmentary suggestion of the later. The 
" Annie " of this song is unknown. Several 
"Annies" claimed the distinction, among 
them a Mrs. Merry.] % 

I. 

It was upon a Lammas night, 

When corn rigs are bonie. 
Beneath the moon's unclouded light, 

I held awa to Annie ; 
The time flew by, wi' tentless heed ; 

Till, 'tween the late and early, 
Wi' sma' persuasion she agreed 

To see me thro' the barley. 



SONG: COMPOSED IN AUGUST. 



6i 



Corn rigs, an' barley rigs, 
An' corn rigs are bonie : 

I '11 ne'er forget that happy 
night, 
Amang the rigs wi' Annie. 

II. 

The sky was blue, the wind was still, 

The moon was shining clearly ; 
I set her down, wi' right good will, 

Amang the rigs o' barley : 
I ken't her heart was a' my ain ; 

I lov'd her most sincerely ; 
I kiss'd her owre and owre again, 

Amang the rigs o' barley. 

III. 

I lock'd her in my fond embrace ; 

Her heart was beating rarely: 
My blessings on that happy place, 

Amang the rigs o' barley ! 
But by the moon and stars so bright. 

That shone that hour so clearly ! 
She aye shall bless that happy night 

Amang the rigs o' barley. 

IV. 

I hae been blythe wi' comrades dear ; 

I hae been merry drinking ; 
I hae been joyfu' gath'rin gear ; 

I hae been happy thinking : 
But a' the pleasures e'er I saw, 

Tho' three times doubl'd fairly — 
That happy night was worth them a', 
Amang the rigs o' barley. 

Corn rigs, an' barley rigs. 
An' corn rigs are bonie : 
I '11 ne'er forget that happy 

night, 
" Amang the rigs wi' Annie. 



SONG: COMPOSED IN 
AUGUST. 

[Burns states, in his " Autobiographical 
Letter," that this song was the ebullition of 
his passion for a " charming yf/^/?^," Peggy 



Thomson, who "overset his trigonometry'' 
at Kirkoswald when he was in his seven- 
teenth year.] 



Now westlin winds and slaught'ring 
guns 
Bring Autumn's pleasant weather ; 
The gorcock springs on whirring 
wings 
Amang the blooming heather : 
Now waving grain, wide o'er the 
plain. 
Delights the weary farmer ; 
The moon shines bright, as I rove by. 
night 
To muse upon my charmer. 



II. 

The paitrick lo'es the fruitfu' fells, 

The plover lo'es the mountains ; 
The woodcock haunts the lonely dells. 

The soaring hern the fountains ; 
Thro' lofty groves the cushat roves. 

The path o' man to shun it ; 
The hazel bush o'erhangs the thrush, 

The spreading thorn the linnet. 



III. 

Thus ev'ry kind their pleasure find. 

The savage and the tender ; 
Some social join, and leagues com- 
bine, 

Some solitary wander : 
Avaunt, away, the cruel sway ! 

Tyrannic man's dominion! 
The sportsman's joy, the murd'ring 
cry, 

The flutt'ring, gory pinion! 



IV. 

But, Peggy dear, the evening's clear. 
Thick flies the skimming swallow, 

The sky is blue, the fields in view 
All fading-green and yellow : 

Come let us stray our gladsome way, 
And view the charms of nature ; 



62 



THE FAREWELL. 



The.rustling corn, the fruited thorn, 
And ilka happy creature. 



V. 



We ■!! gently walk, and sweetly talk, 

While the silent moon shines 
clearly ; 
I '11 clasp thy waist, and, fondly prest, 

Swear how I lo'e thee dearly : 
Not vernal show'rs to budding flow'rs. 

Not Autumn to the farmer, 
So dear can be as thou to me, 

My fair, my lovely charmer! 



SONG: FROM THEE ELIZA. 



Tune: Gilderoy. 

[" Eliza " was Elizabeth Miller, afterwards 
Mrs. Templeton, celebrated in " The Mauch- 
line Belles " as the " Miss Betty " " who 's 
braw."] 



From thee Eliza, I must go, 

And from my native shore : 
The cruel fates between us throw 

A boundless ocean's roar ; 
But boundless oceans, roarin 

Between my Love and me. 
They never, never can divide 

My heart and soul from thee 



g wide 



II. 



Farewell, farewell, Eliza dear. 

The maid that I adore ! 
A boding voice is in mine ear. 

We part to meet no more ! 
But the latest throb that leaves 
heart, 

While Death stands victor by, 
That throb, Eliza, is thy part. 

And thine that latest sigh ! 



my 



THE FAREWELL. 

TO THE BRETHREN OF ST. JAMES'S 
LODGE, TARBOLTON. 

Tune : Good-night, and joy be wi you a\ 

[At this time the author intended going 
to Jamaica. Burns was admitted an ap- 
prentice of the St. David's Lodge, July 4, 
1781. He was elected depute-master of 
St. James's Lodge (which separated from 
St. David's) July 22, 1784.] 



Adieu ! a heart-warm, fond adieu ; 

Dear Brothers of the Mystic Tie I 
Ye favoured, ye enlightened few. 

Companions of my social joy ! 

Tho' I to foreign lands mUst hie, 
Pursuing Fortune's sliddYy ba' ; 

With melting heart and brimful eye, 
1 11 mind you still, tho' far awa. 



n. 

Oft have I met your social band, 

And spent the cheerful, festive 
night ; 
Oft, honoured with supreme command, 

Presided o'er the Sons of Light ; 

And by that Hieroglyphic bright, 
Which none but Craftsmen ever saw ! 

Strong Mem'ry on my heart shall 
write 
Those happy scenes, when far awa. 



III. 



May Freedom, Harmony, and Love, 
Unite you in the Grand Design^ 

Beneath th' Omniscient Eye above — 
The glorious Architect Divine — 
That you may keep th' Unerring 
Line, 

Still rising by the Phimmefs Law, 
Till Order bright completely shine. 

Shall be my pray'r, when far awa. 



EPITAPHS. 



63 



IV. 

And You farewell ! whose merits claim 

Justly that Highest Badge to wear : 
Heav'n bless your honoured, noble 
Name, 

To Masonry and Scotia dear ! 

A last request permit me here, 
When yearly ye assemble a', 

One round, 1 ask it with a tear, 
To him, the Bard, that 's far awa. 



EPITAPH OX A HENPECKED 
SQUIRE. 

[The subject of this epitaph was Mr. 
Campbell of Netherplace, a mansion a 
little to the west ot Mauchline, on the road 
to Mossgiel. The epitaph was not reprinted 
by Burns, nor was the following one.] 

As father Adam first was fooPd, 
A case that 's still too common, 

Here lies a man a woman nil'd : 
The Devil ruled the woman. 



EPIGRAM ON SAID OCCASION. 

O Death, had'st thou but spar'd his 
Hfe, 

Whom we this day lament ! 
We freely wad exchanged the wife, 

An^ a^ been weel content. 

Ev'n as he is. cauld in his graff. 
The swap we yet will do 't ; 

Tak thou the carlin's carcase aflf. 
Thou 'se get the saul o' boot. 



ANOTHER. 

One Oueen Artemisa. as old stories 

teTl, 
When depriv'd of her husband she 

loved so well, 
In respect for the love and affection 

he *d show'd her. 
She reduced him to dust and she drank 

up the powder. 



But Queen Netherplace, of a different 

complexion, 
When caird on to order the fun'ral 

direction, 
Would have eat her dead lord, on a 

slender pretence. 
Not to show her respect, but — to save 

the expense ! 



EPITAPHS, 

ON A CELEBRATED RULING 
ELDER. 

[Souter Hood was a ruling elder in Tar- 
bolton, named William Hood.] 

Here Souter Hood in death does 
sleep : 

In hell, if he 's gane thither, 
Satan, gie him thy gear to keep ; 

He *11 hand it weel theoither. 



ON A NOISY POLEMIC. 

[James Humphry, a mason in Mauchline 
with no doubt of his ability to debate with 
Burns. He died in 1844. He was wont to 
introduce himself to strangers as " Burns's 
blethering bitch."] 

Below thir stanes lie Jamie's banes : 
O Death, it ^s my opinion. 

Thou ne'er took such a bleth'rin bitch 
Into thy dark dominion. 



ON WEE JOHNIE. 

Hie jacet ^i^^Johnie. 

[Said to be the poet's Kilmarnock printer. 
There is another claimant, a bookseller in 
Mauchline, of diminutive stature, named 
John Wilson.] 

W^hoe'er thou art. O reader, know% 
That Death has murdered Johnie, 

An' here his body lies fu' low — 
For said he ne'er had onie. 



64 



EPITAPHS. 



FOR THE AUTHOR'S FATHER. 

[William Burness died at Lochlie, Feb. 
13, 1784, and this " Epitaph on my Ever 
Honoured Father" was inserted in the 
"First Common-Place Book," under the 
date April of that year. The epitaph is 
engraved on the tombstone in AUoway 
Churchyard.] 

O YE whose cheek the tear of pity 
stains, 
Draw near with pious reverence, and 
attend ! 
Here lie the loving husband's dear 
re mains J 
The tender father, and the gen'rous 
friend. 

The pitying heart that felt for human 
woe, 
The dauntless heart that fear'd no 
human pride, 
The friend of man — to vice alone a 
foe ; 
For ^ ev'n his failings leaned to vir- 
tue's side.' 



FOR ROBERT AIKEN, Esq. 

[The gentleman to whom " The Cotter's 
Saturday Night " was dedicated.] 

Know thou, O stranger to the fame 
Of this much lov'd, much honoured 
name ! 
(For none that knew him need be 
told), 
A warmer heart Death ne'er made 
cold. 



FOR GAVIN HAMILTON, Esq. 

[These lines allude to the persecution 
which Hamilton endured for riding on Sun- 
day, etc.] 

The poor man weeps — here Gavin 
sleeps, 
Whom canting wretches blam'd ; 



But with such as he, where'er he be, 
May 1 be sav'd or damn'd. 



A BARD'S EPITAPH, 



[" Burns's most sincere and touching self- 
criticism."— ANDREW Lang.] 

I. 

Is there a whim-inspired fool, 

Owre fast for thought, owre hot for 

rule, 
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to 
snool! — 

Let him draw near ; 
And owre this grassy heap sing dool, 
And drap a tear. 



II. 



Is there a Bard of rustic song, 
Who, noteless, steals the crowds 

among, 
That weekly this area throng? — 

O, pass not by! 
But with a frater-feeling strong, 

Here, heave a sigh. 



III. 

Is there a man, whose judgment clear 
Can others teach the coast to steer. 
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career 

Wild as the wave ? — 
Here pause — and, thro' the starting 
tear. 

Survey this grave. 



IV. 



The poor inhabitant below 

Was quick to learn and wise to know, 

And keenly felt the friendly glow 

And softer flame ; 
But thoughtless follies laid him low. 

And stain'd his name. 



DEATH AND DOCTOR HORNBOOK. 



65 



Reader, attend! whether thy soul 
Soars Fancy's flights beyond the pole, 



Or darkling grubs this earthly hole 

In low pursuit ; 
Know, prudent, cautious, self-contro. 

Is wisdom's root. 



ADDED, EDINBURGH, 1787. 



DEATH AND DOCTOR HORN- 
BOOK. 

A Ti'ue Story, 

[John Wilson, the hero of this poem, 
was, at the time of its composition, school- 
master in Tarbolton. He was, it is said, 
a fair scholar, and a very worthy man, 
but vain of his knowledge of medicine. It 
was his misfortune to encounter Burns at a 
Masonic meeting, who, provoked by a long 
and pedantic speech from the Dominie, ex- 
claimed, the future lampoon dawning upon 
him, " Sit down, Dr. Hornbook."] 

I. 

Some books are lies frae end to end, 
And some great lies were never 

penn'd : 
Ev'n ministers, they hae been kend, 

In holy rapture, 
A rousing whid at times to vend. 

And nail't wi' Scripture. 

II. 

But this that I am gaun to tell, 
Which lately on a night befel, *. 
Is just as true 's the Deil 's in hell 

Or Dublin city : 
That e'er he nearer comes oursel 

'S a muckle pity! 

III. 

The clachan yill had made me canty, 
I was na fou, but just had plenty : 
I stacher'd whyles, but yet took 
tent ay 

To free the ditches ; 
An' hillocks, stanes, an' bushes, 
kend ay 

Frae ghaists an' witches. 



IV. 

The rising moon began to glowT 
The distant Cumnock Hills out-owre : 
To count her horns, wi' a my pow'r 

I set mysel ; 
But whether she had three or four, 

I cou'd na tell. 

V. 

I was come round about the hill, 
And todlin down on Willie's mill, 
Setting my staff wi' a' my skill 

To keep me sicker ; 
Tho' leeward whyles, against my will, 

I took a bicker. 

VI. 

I there wi' Sonnet king does forgather, 
That pat me in an eerie swither ; 
An awfu' scythe, out-owre ae shouther, 

Clear-dangling, hang ; 
A three-tae'd leister on the ither 

Lay, large an' lang. 



VII. 

Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells 

twa ; 
The queerest shape that e'er I saw, 
For fient a wame it had ava ; 

And then its shanks, 
They were as thin, as sharp an' smp.' 
As cheeks o' branks. 



VIII. 

' Guid-een,' quo' I ; ' Friend, hae ye 

been mawin. 
When ither folk are busy sawin? ' 
It seem'd to make a kind o' stan', 



But naething spak. 



66 



DEATH AND DOCTOR HORNBOOK. 



At length, says I : * Friend, whare ye 



gaun 



Will ye go back ? ' 



IX, 



It spak right howe : ^My name is 

Death, 
But be na^ fley'd.' Quoth I : ' Guid 

faith, 
Ye 're may be come to stap my breath ; 

But tent me, bilHe ; 
I red ye weel, take care o' skaith, 
See, there's a gully! ' 

X. 

^Gudeman,' quo' he, 'p\R up your 

whittle, 
I 'm no designed to try its mettle ; 
But if I did, I wad be kittle 

To be mislear'd : 
I wad na mind it, no that spittle 

Out-owre my beard.' 

XL 

' Weel, weel ! ' says I, a bargain be 't ; 
Come, gie 's your hand, an' say we 're 

gree't ; 
We '11 ease our shanks, an' tak a seat : 

Come, gie 's your news : 
This while ye hae been monie a gate, 

At monie a house.' 



XII. 

^ Ay, ay I ' quo' he, an' shook his 

head, 
^ It's e'en a lang, lang time indeed 
Sin' I began to nick the thread 

An' choke the breath : 
Folk maun do something for their 
bread, 

An' sae maun Death. 



XIII. 

' Sax thousand years are near-hand 

fled 
Sin'^1 was to the butching bred, 



An' monie a scheme in vain 's been 
laid 

To stap or scar me ; 
Till ane Hornbook 's ta'en up the 
trade, 

And faith ! he '11 waur me. 



XIV. 

' Ye ken Jock Hornbook i' the 

clachan ? 
Deil mak his king's-hood in a spleu- 

chan ! — 
He 's grown sae weel acquaint wi' 

Biichan 

And ither chaps. 
The weans baud out their fingers 

laughin, 

An' pouk my hips. 

XV. 

' See, here 's a scythe, an' there 's a 

dart. 
They hae pierc'd monie a gallant 

heart ; 
But Doctor Hornbook wi' his art 

An' cursed skill. 
Has made them baith no worth a fart, 
Damn'd haet they '11 kill! 

XVI. 

^ 'T was but yestreen, nae farther gane 
I threw a noble throw at ane ; 
Wi' less, I 'm sure, I 've hundreds 
slain ; 

But Deil-ma-care ! 
It just played dirl on the bane, 

But did nae mair. 



XVII. 

' Hornbook was by wd' ready art. 
An' had sae fortify'd the part, 
That when I looked to my dart, 

It was sae blunt, 
Fient haet o 't wad hae pierc'd the 
heart 

Of a kail-runt. 



DEATH AND DOCTOR HORNBOOK. 



6; 



XVIII. 

' I drew my scythe in sic a fur3\ 
I near-hand cowpit \\\ my hurry, 
But yet the bauld Apothecary 

Withstood the shock : 
I might as weel hae try'd a quarry 

O' hard whin-rock. 

XIX. 

'Ev*n them he canna get attended. 
Ahho' their face he ne'er had kend it, 
Just shit in a kail-blade an* send it, 

As soon's he smell* *t, 
Baith their disease and what will 
mend it, 

At once he tells *t. 

XX. 

'And then a^ doctor's saws and 

whittles 
Of a' dimensions, shapes, an* mettles, 
A' kinds o" boxes, mugs, and bottles, 

He *s sure to hae ; 
Their Latin names as fast he rattles 
As-A B C. 

XXI. 

' Calces o' fossils, earth, and trees ; 
True sal-niari}iujn o* the seas ; 
T\\Q farina of beans an' pease, 

He has *t in plenty ; 
Aqua-fontis. what you please. 

He can content ye. 



XXII. 



new- 



uncommon 



• Forbye some 

weapons, 
Urinus spirit us of capons : 
Or mite-horn shavings, filings, scrap- 
ings, 

Distill'd per se ; 
Sal-a/kali o' midge-tail-chppings. 
And monie mae.' 

XXIII. 

' Waes me for Johnie Ged's Hole now. 
Quoth I * if that thae news be true! 



His braw calf-ward whare gowansgrew 
Sae white and bonie. 

Nae doubt they '11 rive it wi" the plew ; 
They *11 ruin Johnie!' 

XXIV. 

The creature grain'd an eldritch laugh. 
And says : ' ye nedna yoke the pleugh, 
Kirkyards wilt soon be tilFd eneugh, 

Tak ye nae fear : 
They *11 a' be trench'd wi monie a 
sheugh 

In twa-three vear. 



XXV. 

* Whare I kill'd ane, a fair strae death 
By loss o* blood or want o' breath, 
This night I *m free to tak my aith, 

That Hornbook^s skill 
Has clad a score i* their last claith 

By drap an* pill. 

XXVI. 

' An honest wabster to his trade, 
Whase wife's twa nieves were scarce 

weel-bred. 
Gat tippence-worth to mend her head, 

When it was sair ; 
The wife slade cannie to her bed. 

But ne*er spak mair. 

XXVII. 

^ A countra laird had taen the batts. 
Or some curmurring in his guts. 
His only son for Hornbook sets, 

An' pays him well : 
The lad, for twa guid gimmer-pets. 

Was laird himsel. 

XXVIII. 

^ A bonie lass — ye kend her name — 
Some ill-brewn drink had hov*d her 

wame ; 
She trusts hersel, to hide the shame. 

In Hornbook's care; 
Horn sent her aff to her lang hame 

To hide it there. 



THE BRIGS OF AYR. 



XXIX. 

•That's just a swatch o' Hornbook's 

way; 
Thus goes he on from day to day, 
Thus does he poison, kill, an' slay. 

An 's weel paid for 't ; 
Yet stops me o' my lawfu* prey 

Wi' his damn'd dirt : 

XXX. 

' But, hark ! I '11 tell you of a plot, 
Tho^ dinna ye be speakin o't : 
I '11 nail the self-conceited sot, 

As dead 's a herrin ; 
Niest time we meet, I '11 wad a groat. 

He gets his fairin ! ' 

XXXI. 

But just as he began to tell. 

The auld kirk-hammer strak the bell 

Some wee short hour ayont the twal. 

Which raised us baith : 
I took the way that pleas'd mysel. 

And sae did Death. 



THE BRIGS OF AYR. 

A Poem. 

INSCRIBED TO JOHN BALLANTINE, 
ESQ., AYR. 

[Probably composed in September-Oc- 
tober, 1786 ; a new bridge was being built 
at Ayr when Mr. Ballantine, a local banker, 
was dean of guild. The boast of the " Auld 
Brig" that it would "be a brig" when its 
neighbor was a " shapeless cairn " was jus- 
tified in 1877, when the New Bridge was so 
injured by floods that it had to be practi- 
cally rebuilt.] 

The simple Bard, rough at the rustic 

plough, 
Learning his tuneful trade from evVy 

bough 
(The chanting linnet, or the mellow 

thrush, 
Hailing the setting sun, sweet, in the 

green thorn bush ; 



The soaring lark, the perching red- 
breast shrill. 

Or deep-tonM plovers grey, wild- 
whistling o^er the hill) : 

Shall he — nurst in the peasant's 
lowly shed, 

To hardy independence bravely bred. 

By early poverty to hardship steePd, 

An trained to arms in stern misfor- 
tune's field — 

Shall he be guilty of their hireling 
crimes. 

The servile, mercenary Swiss of 
rhymes ? 

Or labour hard the panegyric close. 

With all the venal soul of dedicating 
prose? 

No ! though his artless strains he 
rudely sings, 

And throws his hand uncbuthly o'er 
the strings. 

He glows with all the spirit of the 
bard. 

Fame, honest fame, his great, his dear 
reward. 

Still, if some patron's gen'rous care 
he trace, 

Skiird in the secret to bestow with 
grace ; 

When Ballantine befriends his humble 
name, 

And hands the rustic stranger up to 
fame. 

With heartfelt throes his grateful 
bosom swells : 

The godlike bliss, to give, alone 
excels. 

'T was when the stacks get on their 
winter hap, 

And thack and rape secure the toil- 
won crap ; 

Potatoe-bings are snugged up frae 
skaith 

O' coming winter's biting, frosty 
breath ; 

The bees, rejoicing o'er their summer 
toils — 

Unnumber'd buds' an' flowers' deli- 
cious spoils, 



THE BRIGS OF AYR. 



69 



Seal'd up with frugal care in massive 

waxen piles — 
Are doom'd by man, that tyrant o'er 

the weak, 
The death o' devils smoor'd wi' brim- 
stone reek : 
The thundering guns are heard on 

ev'ry side. 
The wounded coveys, reeling, scatter 

wide ; 
The feathered field-mates, bound by 

Nature's tie. 
Sires, mothers, children in one car- 
nage lie : 
(What warm, poetic heart but inly 

bleeds, 
And execrates man's savage, ruthless 

deeds !) 
Nae mair the flower in field or meadow 

springs : 
Nae mair the grove with airy concert 

rings. 
Except perhaps the robin's whistling 

glee, 
Proud o' the height o' some bit half- 

lang tree ; 
The hoary morns precede the sunny 

days ; 
Mild, calm, serene, widespreads the 

noontide blaze. 
While thick the gossamour waves 

wanton in the rays. 

'Twas in that season, when a 

simple Bard, 
Unknown and poor — simplicity's re- 
ward ! — 
Ae night, within the ancient brugh ' 

of Ayr, I 

By whim inspired or haply prest wi' ' 

care, 
He left his bed, and took his wayward 

route, 
And down by wSimpson's wheeFd the 

left about 
(Whether impelPd by all-directing 

Fate, 
To witness what I after shall nar- ! 

rate ; 
Or whether, rapt in meditation high. 



He wander'd forth, he knew not 
where nor why) : 

The drowsy Dungeon-Clock had 
number'd two, 

And Wallace Tower had sworn the 
fact was true : 

The tide-swoln Firth, with sullen- 
sounding roar, 

Through the still night dash'd hoarse 
along the shore ; 

All else was hush'd as Nature's closed 
e'e; 

The silent moon shone high o er tower 
and tree ; 

The chilly frost, beneath the silver 
beam. 

Crept, gently-crusting, o'er the glitter- 
ing stream. 

When, lo! on either hand the lis- 
tening Bard, 

The clanging sugh of w^histling wings 
is heard ; 

Two dusky forms dart thro' the mid- 
night air. 

Swift as the gos drives on the wheel- 
ing hare ; 

Ane on th' Auld Brig his airy shape 
uprears. 

The ither flutters o'er the rising piers : 

Our w^arlock rhymer instantly descried 

The Sprites that owre the Brigs of 
Ayr preside. 

(That bards are second-sighted is nae 
joke. 

And ken the lingo of the sp'ritual 
folk; 

Fays, spunkies, kelpies, a', they can 
explain them. 

And ev'n the vera deils they brawly 
ken them.) 

Auld Brig appeard of ancient Pictish 
race. 

The vera wrinkles Gothic in his face; 

He seem'd as he wi' Time had war- 
stl'd lang. 

Yet, teughly doure, he bade an unco 
bang. 

New Brig was buskit in a braw new 
coat. 



THE BRIGS OF AYR. 



That he, at Lon'on, frae ane Adams 

In 's hand five taper staves as smooth s 

a bead, 
Wi' virls an' whirlygigums at the 

head. 
The Goth was stalking round with 

anxious search, 
Spying the time-worn flaws in ev'ry 

arch. 
It chanc'd his new-come neebor took 

his e'e. 
And e'en a vex'd and angry heart 

had he! 
Wi' thieveless sneer to see his mod- 
ish mien. 
He, down the water, gies him this 

guid-een : — 

AULD BRIG. 

^ I doubt na. frien\ ye '11 think ye re 

nae sheep shank, 
Ance ye were streekit owtc frae bank 

to bank ! 
But gin ye be a brig as auld as me — 
Tho' faith, that date, I doubt, ye '11 

never. see — 
There '11 be, if that day come, I '11 wad 

a boddle. 
Some fewer whigmeleeries in your 

noddle.' 

XEW^ BRIG. 

^Auld Vandal! ye but show your 

little mense. 
Just much about it wi' your scanty 

sense : 
Will your poor, narrow foot-path of a 

street. 
Where twa wheel-barrows tremble 

w^ien they meet, 
Your ruin'd, formless bulk o' stane 

an' lime. 
Compare wi' bonie brigs o' modern 

time? 
There 's men of taste would tak the 

Ducat stream, 
Tho' they should cast the vera sark 

and swim, 



E'er they would grate their feelings 

wi' the view 
O' sic an ugly, Gothic hulk as you.' 

AULD BRIG. 

^Conceited gowk! puff'd up wi' 

windy pride ! 
This monie a year I 've stood the 

flood an' tide ; 
And tho' wi' crazy eild I 'm sair for- 

fairn, 
I '11 be a brig when ye *re a shapeless 

cairn ! 
As yet ye little ken about the mat- 
ter. 
But twa-three winters will inform ye 

better. 
When heavy, dark, continued, a'-day 

rains 
Wi' deepening deluges o'erflow the 

plains ; 
When from the hills where springs 

the brawling Coil, 
Or statelv Lugar's mossy fountains 

boil, ' 
Or where the Greenock winds his 

moorland course. 
Or haunted Garpal draws his feeble 

source, 
Arous'd by blustering winds an' spot- 
ting thowes, 
In monie a torrent down the snaw- 

broo rowes ; 
While crashing ice, borne on the 

roaring speat. 
Sweeps dams, an' mills, an' brigs, a' 

to the gate ; 
And from Glenbuck down to the 

Ratton-Key 
Auld Ayr is just one lengthen'd, 

tumbling sea — 
Then down ye '11 hurl (deil nor ye 

never rise !), 
And dash the gumlie jaups up to the 

pouring skies ! 
A lesson sadly teaching, to your 

cost, 
That Architecture's noble art is 

lost!' 



THE BRIGS OF AYR. 



71 



NEW BRIG. 

^ Fine architecturej trowth, I needs 

must say ^t o ^t, 
The Lord be thankit that we Ve tint 

the gate o 't ! 
Gaunt, ghastly, ghaist-alluring edi- 
fices, 
Hanging with threatening jut, like 

precipices ; 
O'er-arching, mouldy, gloom-inspiring 

coves, 
Supporting roofs fantastic — stony 

groves ; 
Windows and doors in nameless 

sculptures drest, 
With order, symmetry, or taste un- 

blest ; 
Forms like some bedlam statuary's 

dream, 
The craz'd creations of misguided 

whim ; 
Forms might be worshipped on the 

bended knee, 
And still the second dread Command 

be free : 
Their likeness is not found on earth, 

in air, or sea! 
Mansions that would disgrace the 

building taste 
Of any mason reptile, bird or beast. 
Fit only for a doited monkish race. 
Or frosty maids forsworn the dear 

embrace. 
Or cuifs of later times, wha held the 

notion, 
That sullen gloom was sterling true 

devotion : 
Fancies that our guid bmgh denies 

protection, 
And soon may they expire, unblest 

with resurrection ! ' 



AULD BRIG. 

* O ye, my dear-rem ember 'd, ancient 

yealings. 
Were ye but here to share my wounded 

feelings ! 
Ye worthy proveses, an' monie a bailie, 



Wha in the paths o' righteousness did 
toil ay ; . 

Ye dainty deacons, an' ye douce con- 
veeners. 

To whom our moderns are but causey- 
cleaners ; 

Ye godly councils, wha hae blest this 
town ; 

Ye godly brethren o' the sacred gown, 

Wha meekly gie your hurdles to the 
smiters ; 

And (what would now be strange), 
ye godly Writers ; 

A' ye douce folk I Ve born aboon the 
broo, 

Were ye but here, what would ye say 
or do ! 

How would your spirits groan in deep 
vexation 

To see each melancholy alteration ; 

And, agonising, curse the time and 
place 

When ye begat the base degenerate 
race ! 

Nae langer rev'rend men, their coun- 
try's glory. 

In plain braid Scots hold forth a plain, 
braid story ; 

Nae langer thrifty citizens, an' douce, 

Meet owre a pint or in the council- 
house : 

But staumrel, corky-headed, graceless 
gentry, 

The herryment and ruin of the coun- 
try ; 

Men three-parts made by tailors and 
by barbers, 

Wha waste your weel-hain'd gear on 
damn'd New Brigs and harbours ! ' 

NEW BRIG. 

' Now hand you there ! for faith 

ye 've said enough, 
And muckle mair than you can mak 

to through. 
As for your priesthood, I shall say 

but little, 
Corbies and clergy are a shot right 

kittle : 



72 



THE BRIGS OF AYR. 



But, under favour o' your langer 

beard, 
Abuse o^ magistrates might weel be 

spar'd ; 
To liken them to your auld-warld 

squad, 
I must needs say, comparisons are 

odd. 
In Ayr, wag-wits nae mair can hae a 

handle 
To mouth '3. Citizen,' a term o' 

scandal ; 
Nae mair the council waddles down 

the street, 
In all the pomp of ignorant conceit ; 
Men wha grew wise priggin owre hops 

an' raisins. 
Or gatherd Hb'ral views in bonds and 

seisins ; 
If haply Knowledge, on a random 

tramp. 
Had shor'd them with a glimmer of 

his lamp. 
And would to common-sense for once 

betray'd them. 
Plain, dull stupidity stept kindly in to 

aid them."' 

What farther clish-ma-claver might 

been said. 
What bloody wars if Sprites had 

blood to shed. 
No man can tell ; but, all before their 

sight, 
A fairy train appeared in order bright : 
Adown the glittering stream they 

featly danc'd ; 
Bright to the moon their various 

dresses glanc'd ; 
They footed o'er the wat'ry glass so 

neat. 
The infant ice scarce bent beneath 

their feet ; 
While arts of minstrelsy among them 

rung, 
And soul-ennobling Bards heroic 

ditties sung. 

O, had M'Lauchlan, thairm-inspir- 
ing sage, 



Been there to hear this heavenly band 

engage. 
When thro' his dear strathspeys they 

bore with Highland rage ; 
Or when they struck old Scotia's 

melting airs. 
The lover's raptured joys or bleeding 

cares ; 
How w^ould his Highland lug been 

nobler fir'd. 
And ev'n his matchless hand with 

finer touch inspired ! 
No guess could tell what instrument 

appeared. 
But all the soul of Music's self was 

heard ; 
Harmonious concert rung in every 

part. 
While simple melody pour'd moving 

on the heart. 

The Genius of the Stream in front 

appears, 
A venerable chief advanc'd in 

years ; 
His hoary head with water-lilies 

crown'd. 
His manly leg with garter-tangle 

bound. 
Next came the loveliest pair in all the 

ring, 
Sweet Female Beauty hand in hand 

with Spring ; 
Then, crown'd with flow'ry hay, came 

Rural Joy, 
And Summer, with his fervid-beaming 

eye ; 
All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing 

horn. 
Led yellow Autumn wreath'd with 

nodding corn ; 
Then Winter's time-bleach'd locks 

did hoary show. 
By HospitaUty, with cloudless brow. 
Next follow'd Courage, with his mar- 
tial stride. 
From where the Feal wild-\voody 

coverts hide ; 
Benevolence, with mild^ benignant 

airj 



THE ORDINATION. 



73 



A female form, came from the towers 
of Stair ; 

Learning and Worth in equal meas- 
ures trode 

From simple Catrine, their long-lov'd 
abode ; 

Last, white-robM Peace, crown'd with 
a hazel wreath, 

To rustic Agriculture did bequeath 

The broken, iron instruments of 
death : 

At sight of whom our Sprites forgat 
their kindling wrath. 



THE ORDINATION. 

For sense, they little owe to frugal Heav7i : 
To please the mob they hide the little givn. 

[" Written very early in 1786, but not in- 
cluded in the Kilmarnock edition. A paper 
bullet in the war of Auld and New Lights, — 
Calvinism and 'Common Sense,' — which, 
by the wav, is no theological criterion." — 
Andrew 'Lang.] 



Kilmarnock wabsters, fidge an' claw, 

An' pour your creeshie nations ; 
An' ye wha leather rax an' draw, 

Of a' denominations ; 
Swith ! to the Laigh Kirk, ane an' a', 

An' there tak up your stations ; 
Then aif to Begbie's in a raw, 

An' pour divine libations 
For joy this day. 



II. 

Curst Common-sense, that imp 0' hell, 

Cam^in wi' Maggie Lauder: 
But Oliphant aft made her yell. 

An' Russell sair misca'd her : 
This day Mackinlay taks the flail, 

An' he 's the boy will blaud her ! 
He '11 clap a shangan on her tail. 

An' set the bairns to daud her 
Wi' dirt this day. 



III. 



Mak haste an' turn King David owre, 

An' lilt wi' holy clangor ; 
O' double verse come gie us four, 

An' skirl up the Ba?igor: 
This day the Kirk kicks up a stoure : 

Nae mair the knaves shall wrang 
her. 
For Heresy is in her pow'r. 

And gloriously she '11 whang her 
Wi' pith this day. 



IV. 



Come, let a proper text be read, 

An' touch it afF wi' vigour. 
How graceless Ham leugh at his dad. 

Which made Canaan a nigger; 
Or Phineas drove the murdering blade 

Wi' w^hore-abhorring rigour ; 
Or Zipporah, the scauldin jad. 

Was like a bluidy tiger 

r th' inn that day. 



V. 

There, try his mettle on the Creed, 

And bind him down wi' caution, — 
That stipend is a carnal weed 

He taks but for the fashion — 
And gie him o'er the flock to feed. 

And punish each transgression ; 
Especial, rams that cross the breed, 

Gie them sufficient threshin : 
Spare them nae day. 



VI, 

Now auld Kilmarnock, cock thy tail. 

An' toss thy horns fu' canty ; 
Nae mair thou 'It rowte out-owre the 
dale. 

Because thy pasture 's scanty ; 
For lapfu's large o' gospel kail 

Shall fill thy crib in plenty. 
An' runts o' grace, the pick an' wale, 

No gien by way o' dainty. 
But ilka day. 



74 



THE ORDINATION. 



VII. 

Nae mair by BabeFs streams we' il 
weep 
To think upon our Zion ; 
And hing our fiddles up to sleep, 

Like baby-clouts a-dryin. 
Come, screw the pegs wi' tunefu' 
cheep, 
And o'er the thairms be tryin ; 
O, rare ! to see our elbucks wheep, 
And a' like lamb-tails flyin 
Fu' fast this day ! 



VIII. 

Lang, Patronage, wi' rod o' airn. 

Has shor'd the Kirk's undoin ; 
As lately Fenwick, sair forfairn, 

Has proven to its ruin : 
Our patron, honest man ! Glencairn, 

He saw mischief was brewin ; 
An' like a godly, elect bairn, 

He 's waled us out a true ane. 
And sound this day. 



IX. 

Now Robertson harangue nae mair, 

But steek your gab for ever ; 
Or try the wicked town of Ayr, 

For there they'll think you clever; 
Or, nae reflection on your lear. 

Ye may commence a shaver ; 
Or to the Netherton repair, 

An' turn a carpet-weaver 

Aff-hand this day. 



X. 

Mu'trie and you were just a match, 

We never had sic twa drones : 
Auld Hornie did the Laigh Kirk 
watch. 

Just like a winkin baudrons. 
And ay he catch 'd the tither wTctch, 

To fry them in his caudrons ; 
But now his Honor maun detach, 

Wi' a' his brimstone squadrons, 
Fast, fast this day. 



XI. 

See, see auld Orthodoxy's faes 

She's swingein thro' the city ! 
Hark, how the nine-tail'd cat she 
plays ! 
I vow it 's unco pretty : 
There, Learning, with his Greekish 
face. 
Grunts out some Latin ditty ; 
And Common-Sense is gaun, she says, 
To mak to Jamie Beattie 

Her plaint this day. 



XII. 

• 
But there 's Morality himsel. 

Embracing all opinions ; 
Hear, how he gies the tither yell 

Between his twa companions ! 
See, how she peels the skin an' fell. 

As ane were peelin onions ! 
Now there, they're packed'afifto hell, 

An' banish'd our dominions. 
Henceforth this day. 



XIII. 

O happy day! rejoice, rejoice ! 

Come bouse about the porter! 
Morality's demure decoys 

Shall here nae mair find quarter 
Mackinlay, Russell, are the boys 

That Heresy can torture ; 
They '11 gie her on a rape a hoyse, 

And cowx her measure shorter 
By th' head some day. 



XIV. 

Come, bring the tither mutchkin in, 

And here 's — for a conclusion — 
To ev'ry New Light mother's son. 

From this time forth, confusion! 
If mair they deave us wi' their din 

Or patronage intrusion. 
We '11 light a spunk, and evVy skin 

We '11 run them aff in fusion. 
Like oil some day. 



THE CALF. — ADDRESS TO THE UNCO QUID. 



75 



THE CALF. 


VI. 

And when ye ^"e number^ \vi' the 


To THE Rev. James Steven, on his 
TEXT, Malachi iv. 2 : — 

" And ye shall go forth, and grow up as 


dead 
Below a grassy hillock, 
With justice they may mark your 
head : — 


calves of the stall." 


' Here lies a famous bullock ! ' 



[" The laugh which this Uttle poem raised 
against Steven was a loud one. Burns com- 
posed it during the sermon to which it re- 
lates, and repeated it to Gavin Hamilton, 
with whom he happened on that day to 
dine." — Allan Cunningham.] 

I. 

Right, sir! your text I '11 prove it true, 

Tho' heretics may laugh ; 
For instance, there \s yoursel just now, 

God knows, an unco calf. 



II. 

And should some patron be so kind 

As bless you wi' a kirk, 
I doubt na, sir, but then we '11 find 

You 're still as great a stirk. 



III. 

But, if the lover's raptur'd hour 
Shall ever be your lot. 

Forbid it, every heavenly Power, 
You e'er should be a slot ! 



IV. 

Tho', when some kind connubial dear 

Your but-an'-ben adorns. 
The like has been that you may wear 

A noble head of horjis. 



V. 

And, in your lug, most reverend 
James, 
To hear you roar and rowte. 
Few men o' sense will doubt your 
claims 
To rank amonjsf the nointe. 



ADDRESS TO THE UNCO 
GUID, 

OR THE RIGIDLY RIGHTEOUS. 

My Son, these maxims make a rule. 

An lu7np them ay thegither: 
The Rigid Righteous is a fool. 

The Rigid Wise an it her ; 
The cleanest cor7t that eer was dight 

May hae some pyles o caff i?i ; 
So ne'er a fellow -creature slight 

For random fits o' daffin. 

Solomon {Eccles. vii. 16). 

[" It is not easy to determine the pre- 
cise period when this master-performance 
was conceived and executed. Had it been 
written before midsummer of 1786 it surely 
would not have been excluded from his 
Kilmarnock volume. There is much of 
stern, humiliating truth in the train of 
thought pursued in the poem, which was a 
favorite one with the author." —WILLIAM 
ScoTT Douglas.] 

I. 

O YE, wha are sae guid yoursel, 

Sae pious and sae holy. 
Ye 've nought to do but mark and tell 

Your neebours' fauts and folly ; 
Whase life is like a weel-gaun mill. 

Supplied wi' store o' water ; 
The heapet happer's ebbing still, 

An' still the clap plays clatter ! 



II. 

Hear me, ye venerable core, 
As counsel for poor mortals 

That frequent pass douce Wisdom's 
door 
For ^laikit Folly's portals : 



76 



TAM SAMSON'S ELEGY. 



I for their thoughtless, careless sakes 
Would here propone defences — 

Their donsie tricks, their black mis- 
takes, 
Their failings and mischances. 

III. 

Ye see your state wi' theirs compared, 

And shudder at the niffer ; 
But cast a moment's fair regard. 

What makes the mighty differ ? 
Discount what scant occasion gave ; 

That purity ye pride in ; 
And (what 's aft mair than a' the lave) 

Your better art o' hidin. 



rv. 

Think, when your castigated pulse 

Gies now and then a wallop, 
What ragings must his veins convulse, 

That still eternal gallop ! 
Wi' wind and tide fair i' your tail. 

Right on ye scud your sea-way ; 
But in the teeth o^ baith to sail, 

It maks an unco lee- way. 

V. 

See Social-life and Glee sit down 

All joyous and unthinking, 
Till, quite transmugrify'd they're 
grow^n 

Debauchery and Drinking : 
O, would they stay to calculate, 

Th' eternal consequences, 
Or — your more dreaded hell to 
state — 

Damnation of expenses ! 

VI. 

Ye high, exalted, virtuous dames, 

Tied up in godly laces, 
Before ye gie poor Frailty names. 

Suppose a change o' cases : 
A dear-lov'd lad, convenience snug, 

A treachVous inclination — 
But, let me whisper i' your lug, 

Ye Ve aiblins nae temptation. 



VII. 

Then gently scan your brother man, 

Still gentler sister woman ; 
Tho^ they may gang a kennin wTang, 

To step aside is human : 
One point must still be greatly dark, 

The moving why they do it ; 
And just as lamely can ye mark 

How far perhaps they rue it. 

VIII. 

Who made the heart, 't is He alone 

Decidedly can try us : 
He knows each chord, its various tone, 

Each spring, its various bias : 
Then at the balance let 's be mute, 

We never can adjust it ; 
What 's done we partly may compute, 

But know not what 's resisted. 



TAM SAMSON'S ELEGY. 



All honest ?nan 's the noblest work of God. 

Pope. 

[" When this worthy old sportsman went 
out last muir-fowl season, he supposed it 
was to be, in Ossian's phrase, ' the last of 
his fields,' and expressed an ardent wish to 
die and be buried in the muirs. On this 
hint the author composed his Elegy and 
Epitaph." (R. B.)] 



Has auld Kilmarnock seen the Deil? 
Or great Mackinlay thraw^n his heel ? 
Or Robertson again grown weel 

To preach an' read ? 
' Na, waur than a' ! ' cries ilka chiel, 

' Tam Samson 's dead ! ' 



II. 

Kilmarnock lang may grunt an' grane, 
An' sigh, an' sab, an' greet her lane. 
An' deed her bairns — man, wife an' 



wean — 



In mourning weed ; 



TAM SAMSON'S ELEGY. 



11 



To Death she 's dearly pay^d the kain 
Tarn Samson 's dead ! 



* III. 

The Brethren o* the mystic level 
May hing their head in woefir bevel, 
While by their nose the tears will 
revel, 

Like onie bead ; 
Death's gien the Lodge an unco devel : 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 



IV. 

When Winter muffles up his cloak, 
And binds the mire like a rock ; 
When to the loughs the curlers flock, 

Wi^ gleesome speed, 
Wha will they station at the cock ? — 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 



V. 

He was the king of a' the core, 
To guard, or draw, or wick a bore, 
Or up the rink like Jehu roar 

In time o' need ; 
But now he lags on Death's hog- 
score : 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 



VI. 

Now safe the stately sawmont sail. 
And trouts bedropp'd wi' crimson 

hail, 
And eels, weel-kend for souple tail, 

And geds for greed. 
Since, dark in Death's fish-creel, we 
wail 

Tam Samson dead ! 

VII. 

Rejoice, ye birring paitricks a' ; 

Ye cootie moorcocks, crousely craw ; 

Ye maukins, cock your fud fu' braw 

Withouten dread ; 
Your mortal fae is now awa : 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 



VIII. 

That woefu' morn be ever mourn'd 
Saw him in shootin graith adorn'd. 
While pointers round impatient 
burn'd, 

Frae couples free'd : 
But och! he gaed and ne'er returned : 

Tam Samson 's dead. 



IX. 

In vain auld-age his body batters, 
In vain the gout his ancles fetters, 
In vain the burns cam down like 
waters. 

An acre braid ! 
Now evVy auld wife, greetin, clatters : 
' Tam Samson "s dead ! ' 



X. 

Owre monie a weary hag he limpit. 
An' ay the tither shot he thumpit, 
Till coward Death behint him jumpit 

Wi' deadly feide ; 
Now he proclaims wi' tout o* trumpet : 

^ Tam Samson 's dead ! ' 



XI. 

When at his heart he felt the dagger. 
He reePd his w^onted bottle-swagger. 
But yet he drew the mortal trigger 

Wi' weel-aim'd heed ; 
* Lord, five!' he cry'd, an' owre did 
stagger — 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 



XII. 

Ilk hoary hunter mourn'd a brither ; 
Ilk sportsman-youth bemoan'd a 

father ; 
Yon auld gray stane, amang the 
heather, 

Marks out his head ; 
Whare Burns has wrote, in rhyming 
blether : 

^ Tam Samson 's dead ! ' 



78 



A WINTER NIGHT. 



XIII. 

There low he lies in lasting rest ; 
Perhaps upon his mouldring breast 
Some spitefu' moorfowl bigs her nest, 

To hatch an' breed : 
Alas ! nae mair he '11 them molest ; 

Tam Samson 's dead! 

XIV. 

When August winds the heather wave, 
And sportsmen wander by yon grave, 
Three volleys let his memory crave 

O' pouther an' lead, 
Till Echo answers frae her cave : 

'Tam Samson's dead I ' 

XV. 

' Heav'n rest his saul whare'er he be!' 
Is th' wish o' monie mae than me : 
He had twa fauts, or maybe three, 

Yet what remead ? 
Ae social, honest man want we : 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 

THE EPITAPH. 

Tam Samson's weel-worn clay here 
lies : 

Ye canting zealots, spare him! 
If honest worth in Heaven rise. 

Ye '11 mend or ye win near him. 

PER CONTRA. 

Go, Fame, an' canter like a filly 
Thro' a' the streets an neuks o' KiUie ; 
Tell ev'ry social honest billie 

To cease his grievin ; 
For yet unskaith'd by Death's gleg 
gullie, 

Tam Samson's leevin! 



A WINTER NIGHT. 

Poor naked wretches, wheresoever you are, 
That bide the pelthig of this pitvless storm! 
How shall your houseless heads and unfed 
sides, 



Your loop' d a?id window draggedness , defend 

you 
From seasons such as these f 

— Shakespeare. 

['* * This poem/ says my friend Thomas 
Cariyle, ' is worth several homilies on mercy, 
for it is the voice of Mercy herself.'" — 
Allan Cunningham.] 



I. 

When biting Boreas, fell and doure. 
Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r ; 
When Phoebus gies a short-liv'd 
glow'r, 

Far south the lift, 
Dim-dark'ning thro' the flaky show'r 

Or whirling drift : 

II. 

Ae night the storm the steeples 

rocked ; 
Poor Labour sweet in sleep was 

locked ; 
While burns, wi' snawy wreaths up- 
choked. 

Wild-eddying swirl, 
Or, thro' the mining outlet bocked, 
Down headlong hurl : 



III. 



List'ning the doors an' winnocks 

rattle, 
I thought me on the ourie cattle, 
Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle 

O' winter war, 
And thro the drift, deep-lairing, 
sprattle 

Beneath a scaur. 



IV. 

Ilk happing bird — wee, helpless 

thing ! — 
That in the merry months o' spring 
Delighted me to hear thee sing. 

What comes o' thee ? 
Whare wilt thou cow'r thy chittering 



An' close thy e'e? 



A WINTER NIGHT. 



79 



Ev*n you, on murcrring errands toiFcl, 
Lone from your savage homes exil'd, 
The blood-stain'd roost and sheep- 
cote spoird 

My heart forgets, 
While pityless the tempest wild 
Sore on you beats! 



VI. 

Now Phoebe, in her midnight reign, 
Dark-mufti"d, view'd the dreary plain ; 
Still crowding thoughts, a pensive 
train, 

Rose in my soul. 
When on my ear this plaintive strain, 

Slow-solemn, stole : — 



VII. 

^Blow. blow, ye winds, with heavier 

gust ! 
And freeze, thou bitter-biting frost! 
Descend, ye chilly, smothering snows! 
Not all your rage, as now united, 
shows 
More hard unkindness unrelenting. 
Vengeful malice, unrepenting. 
Than heaven-illumin'd ]\Ian on brother 
Man bestows! 
See stern Oppression's iron grip. 
Or mad Ambition's gory hand. 
Sending, like blood-hounds from 
the slip. 
Woe, Want, and Murder o'er a 
land! 
Ev'n in the peaceful mral vale. 
Truth, weeping, tells the mournful 
tale: 
How pamper'd Luxury, FlattVy by 
her side. 
The parasite empoisoning her ear. 
With all the servile wretches in the 
rear, 
Looks o'er proud Property, extended 
wide : 
And eyes the simple, rustic hind, 
Whose toil upholds the glitt'ring 
show — 



A creature of another kind. 
Some coarser substance, unrefined — 
Plac'd for her lordly use, .thus far, thus 
vile, below! 
Where, where is Love's fond, ten- 
der throe. 
With lordly Honor's lofty brow, 
The pow'rs you proudly own ? 
Is there, beneath Love's noble 

name. 
Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim, 

To bless himself alone ? 
Mark Maiden-Innocence a prey 

To love-pretending snares : 
This boasted Honor turns away, 
Shunning soft Pity's rising sway. 
Regardless of the tears and unavail- 
ing pray'rs ! 
Perhaps this hour, in Misery's 

squalid nest. 
She strains your infant to her joy- 
less breast. 
And with a mother's fears shrinks at 
the rocking blast! 



VIII. 

^O ye! who. sunk in beds of down. 
Feel not a want but what your- 
selves create. 
Think, for a moment, on his 
wretched fate. 
Whom friends and fortune quite 
disown ! 
Ill-satisfy'd keen nature's clam'- 
rous call, 
Stretch'd on his straw, he lays him- 
self to sleep ; 
While through the ragged roof and 
chinky w^all, 
Chill, o'er his slumbers piles the 

drifty heap! 
Think on the dungeon's grim 

confine, 
W^here Guilt and poor Misfortune 

pine! 
Guilt, erring man, relenting view! 
But shall thy legal rage pursue 
The wTetch, already crushed low 
By cruel Fortune's undeserved blow ? 



8o 



PRAYER: O THOU DREAD POWER. 



Affliction's sons are brothers in dis- 
tress ; 

A brother to reHeve, how exquisite 
the bliss ! ' 

IX. 

I heard nae mair, for Chanticleer 
Shook off the pouthery snaw, 

And haiPd the morning with a cheer, 
A cottage-rousing craw. 

But deep this truth impressed my 
mind : 

Thro' all His works abroad. 
The heart benevolent and kind 

The most resembles God. 



STANZAS WRITTEN IN PROS- 
PECT OF DEATH. 

[These verses the poet, in his " Common- 
Place Book," calls *' Misgivings in the Hour 
of Despondency and Prospect of Death."] 



Why am I loth to leave this earthly 
scene ? 
Have I so found it full of pleasing 
charms ? 
Some drops of joy with draughts of ill 
between ; 
Some gleams of sunshine mid re- 
newing storms. 
Is it departing pangs my soul alarms ? 
Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark 
abode ? 
For guilt, for guilt, my terrors are in 
arms : 
I tremble to approach an angry 
God, 
And justly smart beneath his sin- 
avenging rod. 

II. 

Fain would I say : ' Forgive my foul 
offence,' 
Fain promise never more to dis- 
obey. 



But should my Author health again 
dispense. 
Again I might desert fair virtue's 
way ; 
Again in folly's path might go astray ; 
Again exalt the brute and sink the 
man : 
Then how should I for heavenly 
mercy pray. 
Who act so counter heavenly 
mercy's plan? 
Who sin so oft have mourn'd yet to 
temptation ran ? 

III. 

O Thou great Governor of all be- 
low ! — 
If I may dare a lifted eye to Thee, — 
Thy nod can make tire tempest cease 
to blow, 
Or still the tumult of the raging 
sea : 
With that controlling pow'r assist ev'n 
me 
Those headlong furious passions to 
confine. 
For all unfit I feel my powers to be 
To rule their torrent in th' allowed 
line : 
O, aid me with Thy help, Omnipo- 
tence Divine ! 



PRAYER: O THOU DREAD 
POWER. 

Lying at a reverend fri en d\s honse one night 
the author left the following verses ifi the 
room where he slept. 

[The " reverend friend " was Dr. Laurie, 
then minister of Loudoun, at whose house 
Burns first heard the spinnet played.] 



O Thou dread Power, who reign's': 
above, 

I know Thou wilt me hear, 
When for this scene of peace and love 

I make my prayer sincere. 



PRAYER UNDER THE PRESSURE OF VIOLENT ANGUISH. 81 



II. 



The hoary Sire — the mortal stroke. 
Long, long be pleas'd to spare : 

To bless his little filial flock, 
And show what good men are. 



III. 

She, who her lovely offspring eyes 
With tender hopes and fears — 

O. bless her with a mother's joys, 
But spare a mother's tears! 

IV. 

Their hope, their stay, their darling 
youth. 
In manhood^s dawning blush. 
Bless him. Thou God of love and 
truth, 
Up to a parent's wish. 



The beauteous, seraph sister-band — 
With earnest tears I pray — 

Thou know'st the snares on every 
hand, 
Guide Thou their steps alway. 

VI. 

When, soon or late, they reach that 
7 coast, 

O'er Life's rough ocean driven, 
May they rejoice, no wand'rer lost, 

A family in Heaven! 



PARAPHRASE OF THE FIRST 
PSALiM. 

[This is of the Irvine period, when, as 
Burns wrote to his father, " My only pleas- 
urable enjoyment is looking backwards 
and forwards in a moral and religious 
way."] 



The man, in life wherever placM, 

Hath happiness in store. 
Who walks not in the wicked's way 

Nor learns their guilty lore ; 



II. 



Nor from the seat of scornful pride 
Casts forth his eyes abroad. 

But with humility and awe 
Still walks before his God ! 



III. 



That man shall flourish like the trees. 
Which by the streamlets grow : 

The fruitful top is spread on high. 
And firm the root below. 



IV. 



But he, whose blossom buds in guilt. 
Shall to the ground be cast. 

And, like the rootless stubble, tost 
Before the sweeping blast. 



V. 



For why? that God the good adore 
Hath giv'n them peace and rest. 

But hath decreed that wicked men 
Shall ne'er be truly blest. 



PRAYER UNDER THE PRESS- 
URE OF VIOLENT ANGUISH. 

[Of this poem Burns says : "There was 
a certain period of life that my spirit was 
broke by repeated losses and disasters. In 
this wretched state I hung my harp on the 
willow-trees except in some lucid intervals, 
in one of which I composed the following."] 



O Thou Great Being! what Thou art 

Surpasses me to know ; 
Yet sure I am, that known to Thee 

Are all Thy works below. 



II. 

Thy creature here before Thee stands, 
AH wretched and distrest ; 

Yet sure those ills that wring my soul 
Obey Thy high behest. 



82 



• TO MISS LOGAN. 



III. 



Sure Thou, Almighty, canst not act 

P>om cruelty or wrath ! 
O. free my weary eyes from tears, 

Or close them fast in death ! 



IV, 



But, if I must afflicted be 
To suit some wise design, 

Then man my soul with firm resolves 
To bear and not repine ! 



THE NINETIETH PSALM 
VERSIFIED. 

[This piece is of the same period as the 
preceding.] 



O Thou, the first, the greatest friend 

Of all the human race ! 
Whose strong right hand has ever 
been 

Their stay and dwelling place ! 



II. 

Before the mountains heavM their 
heads 

Beneath Thy forming hand. 
Before this ponderous globe itself 

Arose at Thy command : 



III. 

That Power, which raisM and still 
upholds 

This universal frame, 
From countless, unbeginning time 

Was ever still the same. 



IV. 

Those mighty periods of years, 
Which seem to us so vast. 

Appear no more before Thy sight 
Than yesterday that 's past. 



V. 



Thou giv^st the word : Thy creature-^ 
man, 

Is to existence brought ; 
Again Thou say^st : ' Ye sons of men, 

Return ye into nought ! ' 



VI. 



Thou layest them, with all their cares, 

In everlasting sleep ; 
As with a flood Thou tak'st them off 

With overwhelming sweep. 



VII. 



They flourish like the morning flower 

In beauty's pride arrayM, 
But long ere night, cut down, it lies 

All withe^'d and decayed. 



TO MISS LOGAN. 

WITH BEATTIE'S poems FOR A NEW 
year's gift, JANUARY I, 1 787. 

[The sister of Major Logan, whom 
Burns had already celebrated.] 



Again the silent wheels of time 
Their annual round have driven, 

And you, tho' scarce in maiden prime, 
Are so much nearer Heav'n. 



II. 

No gifts have I from Indian coasts 

The infant year to hail ; 
I send you more than India boasts 

In Edwin's simple tale. 



III. 

Our sex with guile, and faithless love. 
Is charged — perhaps too true ; 

But may, dear maid, each lover prove 
An Edwin still to you. 



ADDRESS TO A HAGGIS. — ADDRESS TO EDINBURGH. 



83 



ADDRESS TO A HAGGIS. 

[" It has been stated that, being present 
at a party where a haggis was on the table, 
and being asked to say something appro- 
priate on the occasion, Burns produced the 
following stanza by way of grace. Being 
well received he was induced to expand it 
into his address ' To a Haggis,' retaining 
the verse in an altered form as a perora- 
tion." — Wallace Chambers. 
Ye Powers wha gie us a' that 's guid, 
Still bless auld Caledonia's brood 
Wi' great John Barleycorn's heart's bluid 

In stoups or luggies; 
And on our board the king o' food, 

A glorious haggis! 
" It is usual to have this Scotch dish at 
the anniversary celebrations of the poet's 
birth, and a very savory viand it is, although 
unsafe to eat much of."] 



Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race ! 
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, 

Painch, tripe, or thairm : 
Weel are ye wordy of a grace 

As lang 's my arm. 

II. 

The groaning trencher there ye fill, 
Your hurdies like a distant hill, 
Your pin wad help to mend a mill 

In time o' need. 
While thro' your pores the dews distil 

Like amber bead. 

III. 

His knife see rustic Labour dight. 
An' cut ye up wi' ready slight. 
Trenching your gushing entrails 
bright. 

Like onie ditch ; 
And then, O what a glorious sight, 

Warm-reekin, rich ! 

IV. 

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' 

strive : 
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive. 



Till a' their weel-svvall'd kytes belyve 
Are bent like drums ; 

Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive, 
' Bethankit! ' hums. 



V. 

Is there that owre his French ragout^ 
Or olio that wad staw a sow. 
Ox fricassee wad mak her spew 

Wi' perfect sconner, 
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view 

On sic a dinner? 



VI. 

Poor devil! see him owre his trash. 

As feckless as a wither'd rash. 

His spindle shank a guid whip-lash. 

His nieve a nit ; 
Thro' bluidy flood or field to dash, 

O how unfit! 



VII. 

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed, 
The trembling earth resounds his 

tread, 
Clap in his walie nieve a blade, 

He '11 make it whissle ; 
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned 

Like taps o' thrissle. 

VIII. 

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your 

care. 
And dish them out their bill o' fare, 
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking 
ware. 

That jaups in luggies ; 
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer, 
Gie her a Haggis ! 



ADDRESS TO EDINBURGH. 

[Burns enclosed this poem, witli another 
piece unnamed, to Mr. William Chalmers, 
writer, Ayr, as early as 27th December, 1786, 



84 



ADDRESS TO EDINBURGH. 



thus showing the rapidity with which he had 
composed it.] 



Edina! Scotia^s darling seat! 

All hail thy palaces and tow'rs, 
Where once, beneath a Monarch's feet, 

Sat Legislation's sovereign powers : 

From marking wildly-scatt'red 
flowVs, 
As on the banks of Ayr T stray'd 

And singing, lone, the lingering 
hours, 
I shelter in thy honored shade. 



a. 



Here Wealth still swells the golden 
tide, 

As busy Trade his labours plies ; 
There Architecture's noble pride 

Bids elegance and splendour rise : 

Here Justice, from her native skies. 
High wields her balance and her rod ; 

There Learning, with his eagle eyes, 
Seeks Science in her coy abode. 



III. 

Thy sons, Edina, social, kind. 

With open arms the stranger hail ; 
Their views enlarg'd, their libVal 
mind, 

Above the narrow, rural vale ; 

Attentive still to Sorrow's wail. 
Or modest Merit's silent claim : 

And never may their sources fail ! 
And never Envy blot their name ! 



IV. 

Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn. 

Gay as the gilded summer sky. 
Sweet as the dewy^ milk-white thorn. 

Dear as the raptured thrill of joy ! 

Fair Burnet strikes th' adoring eye, 
HeavVs beauties on my fancy shine : 

I see the Sire of Love on high, 
And ow^n His work indeed divine ! 



There, watching high the least alarms, 

Thy rough, rude fortress gleams 
afar; 
Like some bold vet'ran, grey in arms. 

And marked with many a seamy 
scar; 

The pondTous wall and massy bar, 
Grim-rising o'er the rugged rock, 

Have oft withstood assaiUng war, 
And oft repeird th' invader's shock. 

VI. 

With awe-struck thought and pitying 
tears. 
I view that noble, stately dome. 
Where Scotia's kings of other years, 
Fam'd heroes ! had their royal 

home : 
Alas, how chang'd the times to 
come ! 
Their royal name low in the dust! 
Their hapless race wild-wand'ring 
roam ! 
Tho^ rigid Law cries out : ' 'T was just.' 

VII. 

Wild beats my heart to trace your 
steps. 

Whose ancestors, in days of yore, 
Thro' hostile ranks and ruin'd gaps 

Old Scotia's bloody lion bore : 

Ev'n I, who sing in rustic lore. 
Haply my sires have left their shed. 

And fac'd grim Danger's loudest 
roar, 
Bold-following where your fathers led 

VIII. 

Edina ! Scotia's darling seat! 

All hail thy palaces and tow'rs ; 
Where once, beneath a Monarch's feet. 

Sat Legislation's sov'reign pow'rs 

From marking wildly-scatt'red 
fiow'rs, 
As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd 

And singing, lone, the ling'ring 
hours, 
I shelter in thy honour'd shade. 



JOHN BARLEYCORN. 



85 



SONGS. 



JOHN BARLEYCORN. 

A Ballad. 

[Composed on the plan of an old song, 
of which David Laing has given an authen- 
tic version in his very curious volume of 
" Metrical Tales."] 



There was three kings into the east, 
Three kings both great and high, 

And they hae sworn a solemn oath 
John Barleycorn should die. 



II. 

They took a plough and ploughed him 
down, 

Put clods upon his head, 
And they hae sworn a solemn oath 

John Barleycorn was dead. 



III. 

But the cheerful Spring came kindly 
on, 

And showVs began to fall ; 
John Barleycorn got up again, 

And sore surprised them all. 



IV. 

The sultry suns of Summer came. 
And he grew thick and strong : 

His head weel arniM wi^ pointed 
spears. 
That no one should him wrong. 



The sober Autumn entered mild. 
When he grew wan and pale ; 

His bending joints and drooping head 
Show'd he besfan to fail. 



VI. 



His colour sicken'd more and more, 

He faded into age ; 
And then his enemies began 

To show their deadly rage. 



VII. 



long 



and 



TheyVe taen a weapon 
sharp, 

And cut him by the knee ; 
Then tyM him fast upon a cart, 

Like a rogue for forgerie. 

VIII. 

They laid him down upon his back. 
And cudgeird him full sore. 

They hung him up before the storm. 
And turn'd him o'er and o'er. 

IX. 

They filled up a darksome pit 

With water to the brim. 
They heaved in John Barleycorn — 

There, let him sink or swim ! 

X. 

They laid him out upon the floor. 
To work him farther woe ; 

And still, as signs of life appeared, 
They toss'd him to and fro. 

XI. 

They wasted o'er a scorching flame 
The marrow of his bones ; 

But a miller us'd him worst of all. 
For he crushed him between two 
stones. 

XII. 

And they hae taen his very heart's 
blood. 
And drank it round and round ; 



86 



A FRAGMENT: WHEN GUILFORD GOOD. 



And still the more and more they 
drank, 
Their joy did more abound. 



XIII. 



John Barleycorn was a hero bold, 

Of noble enterprise ; 
For if you do but taste his blood, 

'T will make your courage rise. 



XIV. 



T will make a man forget his woe ; 

'T will heighten all his joy : 
'T will make the widow's heart to sing, 

Tho' the tear were in her eye. 



XV. 



Then let us toast John Barleycorn, 
Each man a glass in hand ; 

And may his great posterity 
Ne'er fail in old Scotland ! 



A FRAGMENT: WHEN GUIL- 
FORD GOOD. 

Tune : Gilllcr ankle. 

[First published in the Edinburgh edi- 
tion of 1787, after consulting the Earl of 
Glencairn and Henry Erskine.] 

I. 

When Guilford good our pilot stood. 

An' did our hellim thraw, man ; 
Ae night, at tea, began a plea. 

Within America, man : 
Then up they gat the maskin-pat. 

And in the sea did jaw, man ; 
An' did nae less, in full Congress, 

Than quite refuse our law, man. 

II. 

Then thro' the lakes Montgomery 
takes, 

I wat he was na slaw, man ; 
Down Lowrie's Burn he took a turn, 

And Carleton did ca', man : 



But yet, whatreck, he at Quebec 
Montgomery-like did fa\ man, 

Wi' sword in hand, before his band, 
Amang his en'mies a', man. 



III. 

Poor Tammy Gage within a cage 

Was kept at Boston-ha', man ; 
Till Willie Howe took o'er the knowe 

For Philadelphia, man ; 
Wi' sword an' gun he thought a sin 

Guid Christian bluid to draw^, man ; 
But at New-York wi' knife an' fork 

Sir-Loin he hacked sma', man. 



IV. 

Burgoyne gaed up, like spur an' whip, 

Till Eraser brave did fa', man ; 
Then lost his way, ae misty day, 

In Saratoga shaw, man. 
Cornwallis fought as lang 's he dough t. 

An' did the buckskins claw, man ; 
But Clinton's glaive frae rust to save, 

He hung it to the wa', man. 



Then Montague, an' Guilford too, 

Began to fear a fa', man ; 
And Sackville doure, wha stood the 
stoure 

The German chief to thraw, man : 
For Paddy Burke, like onie Turk, 

Nae mercy had at a', man ; 
An' Charlie Fox threw by the box. 

An' lows'd his tinkler jaw, man. 



VI. 

Then Rockingham took up the game. 

Till death did on him ca', man ; 
When Shelburne meek held up his 
cheek. 

Conform to gospel law, man : 
Saint Stephen's boys, wi' jarring noise. 

They did his measures thraw, man ; 
For North an^ Fox united stocks, 

An' bore him to the wa', man. 



MY NANIE, O. 



87 



VII. 

Then clubs an^ hearts were CharHe's 
cartes 

He swept the stakes aw^a\ man. 
Till the diamond^s ace, of Indian race, 

Led him a s,^\y faux pas, man : 
The Saxon lads, wi' loud placads. 

On Chatham's boy did ca', man ; 
An' Scotland drew her pipe an' blew : 

' Up, Willie, waur them a', man! ' 

VIII. 

Behind the throne then Granville's 
gone, 
A secret word or twa, man ; 
While slee Dundas arous'd the class 

Be-north the Roman wa', man : 
An' Chatham's wraith, in heav'nly 
graith 
(Inspired bardies saw, man), 
Wi' kindling eyes, cry'd : ' Willie, 

rise ! 
Would I hae fear'd them a', man ? ' 

IX. 

But, word an' blow. North, Fox, and 
Co. 

Gowff 'd Willie like a ba', man. 
Till Suthron raise an' coost their claise 

Behind him in a raw, man : 
An' Caledon threw by the drone, 

An' did her whittle draw, man ; 
An' swoor fu' rude, thro' dirt an' bluid. 

To mak it guid in law, man. 



MY NANIE, O. 

[According to Gilbert Burns the heroine 
was Agnes Fleming. On the other hand, 
Mrs. Begg asserts that it was written in 
honor of Peggy Thomson of Kirkoswald.] 



Behind yon hills where Lugar flows 
'Mang moors an' mosses many, O, 

The wintry sun the day has clos'd, 
And I '11 awa to Nanie, O. 



II. 



The westlin wind blaws loud an' shill. 
The night's baith mirk and rainy, O ; 

But I '11 get my plaid, an' out I '11 steal. 
An' owre the hill to Nanie, O. 



III. 



My Nanie 's charming, sweet, an' 
young ; 

Nae artfu' wiles to win ye, O : 
May ill befa' the flattering tongue 

That wad beguile my Nanie, O ! 



IV. 



Her face is fair, her heart is true ; 

As spotless as she 's bonie, O, 
The opening gowan, wat wi' dew, 

Nae purer is than Nanie, O. 



V. 



A country lad is my degree. 

An' few there be that ken me, O ; 

But what care I how few they be ? 
I 'm welcome ay to Nanie, O. 



VI, 



My riches a 's my penny-fee, 
An' I maun guide it cannie, O ; 

But warl's gear ne'er troubles me, 
My thoughts are a' — my Nanie, O, 



VII. 



Our auld guidman delights to view 
His sheep an' kye thrive bonie, O ; 

But I'm as blythe that hands his 
pleugh. 
An' has nae care but Nanie, O. 



VIII. 



Come weel, come woe, I care na by ; 

I '11 tak what Heav'n will send me, O : 
Nae ither care in life have I, 

But live, an' love my Nanie, O. 



88 



GREEN GROW THE RASHES, O.— COMPOSED IN SPRING. 



GREEN GROW THE RASHES, O. 

[This little masterpiece of wit and gayety 
and movement was suggested either by the 
fragment " Green grow the Rashes, O " in 
Herd's " Ancient and Modern Scottish 
Songs," or by the coarse old song itself.] 



Chorus, 

Green grow the rashes, O ; 
Green grow the rashes, O ; 
The sweetest hours that e^er I spend, 
Are spent among the lasses, O. 



There's nought but care on evVy 
han', 

In every hour that passes, O : 
What signifies the life o' man. 

An' 't were na for the lasses, O. 



II, 



The war''ly race may riches chase, 
An' riches still may fly them, O ; 

An' tho' at last they catch them fast. 
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O. 



III. 



But gie me a cannie hour at e'en. 
My arms about my dearie, O, 

An' war'ly cares an' war'ly men 
May a' gae tapsalteerie, O! 



IV. 



For you sae douce, ye sneer at this ; 

Ye 're nought but senseless asses, O 
The wisest man the warl' e'er saw, 

He dearly lov'd the lasses, O. 



Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears 
Her noblest work she classes, O : 

Her prentice han' she try'd on man, 
An' then she made the lasses, O. 



Chorus. 

Green grow the rashes, O ; 
Green grow the rashes, O ; 
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend, 
Are spent among the lasses, O. 



COMPOSED IN SPRING 

Tune : Jo/mnys Grey Bi-eeks. 

[" Menie is the common abbreviation o. 
Marianne. The chorus is part of a song 
composed by a gentleman in Edinburgh, a 
particular friend of the author's." — R. B.] 



Again rejoicing Nature sees 

Her robe assume its vernal hues : 

Her leafy locks w^ave in the breeze. 
All freshly steep'd in morning dews. 

Chorus, 

And maun I still on Menie doat, 
And bear the scorn that 's in her e'e ? 

For it's jet, jet-black, an' it's like a 
hawk. 
An' it winna let a body be. 

II. 

In vain to me the cowslips blaw, 
In vain to me the vi'lets spring ; 

In vain to me in glen or shaw, 
The mavis and the lintwhite sinsf. 



III. 

The merry ploughboy cheers his team, 
Wi' joy the tentie seedsman stalks \ 

But life to me 's a weary dream, 
A dream of ane that never wauks. 



IV. 

The wanton coot the w^ater skims, 
Amang the reeds the ducklings cry, 

The stately swan majestic swims, 
And ev'ry thing is blest but I. 



THE GLOOMY NIGHT.— NO CHURCHMAN AM I. 



89 



The sheep-herd steeks his faulding 
slap, 
And o'er the moorlands whistles 
shill ; 
Wi' wild, unequal, wandVing step, 
I meet him on the dewy hill. 

VI. 

And when the lark, 'tween light and 
dark, 
Blythe waukens by the daisy's side, 
And mounts and sings on flittering 
wings, 
A woe-worn ghaist I hameward 
glide. 

VII. 

Come winter, with thine angry howl. 
And raging, bend the naked tree ; 

Thy gloom will soothe my cheerless 
soul. 
When nature all is sad hke me! 

Chorus, 

And maun I still on Menie doat, 
And bear the scorn that 's in her e'e ? 

For it 's jet, jet-black, an' it 's like a 
hawk, 
An' it winna let a body be. 



THE GLOOMY NIGHT IS 
GATHERING FAST. 

TUNE! Roslin Castle. 

[" I composed this song as I conveyed 
my chest so far on my road to Greenock, 
where I was to embark in a few days for 
Jamaica. I meant it as my farewell to my 
native land."- R. B.l 



The gloomy night is gath'ring fast. 
Loud roars the wild inconstant blast ; 
Yon murky cloud is filled with rain, 
I see it driving o'er the plain ; 



The hunter now has left the moor. 
The scattered coveys meet secure ; 
While here I wander, prest with care, 
Along the lonely banks of Ayr. 



II. 

The Autumn mourns her rip'ning corn 
By early Winter's ravage torn ; 
Across her placid, azure sky, 
She sees the scowling tempest fly; 
Chill runs my blood to hear it rave : 
I think upon the stormy wave. 
Where many a danger I must dare, 
Far from the bonie banks of Ayr. 



III. 

'T is not the surging billows' roar, 
'T is not that fatal, deadly shore ; 
Tho' death in ev'ry shape appear. 
The wretched have no more to fear : 
But round my heart the ties are bound. 
That heart transpierc'd with many a 

wound ; 
These bleed afresh, those ties I tear, 
To leave the bonie banks of Ayr. 



IV. 

Farewell, old Coila's hills and dales, 
Her heathy moors and winding vales ; 
The scenes where wretched Fancy 

roves. 
Pursuing past unhappy loves ! 
Farewell my friends ! farewell my 

foes ! 
My peace with these, my love with 

those — 
The bursting tears my heart declare. 
Farewell, my bonie banks of Ayr. 



NO CHURCHMAN AM I. 

Tune : Prepare, my dear Brethren, 

[This is not a happy production, al- 
though, doubtless, it would pass very well 
among iiis youthful companions at Tarbol- 



90 



NO CHURCHMAN AM I. 



ton, when the table was in a roar, after 
a lodge meeting." — WlLLiAM ScoTT 
Douglas.] 

I. 

No churchman am I for to rail and to 

write, 
No statesman nor soldier to plot or to 

fight, 
No sly man of business contriving a 

snare, 
For a big-belly'd bottle 's the whole 

of my care. 



II. 

The peer I don't envy, I give him his 

bow ; 
I scorn not the peasant, tho' ever so 

low; 
But a club of good fellows, like those 

that are here. 
And a bottle like this, are my glory 

and care. 



III. 

Here passes the squire on his brother 

— his horse. 
There centum per centum, the cit with 

his purse, 
But see you The O'oivn. how it waves 

in the air? 
There a big-belly'd bottle still eases 

my care. 



IV. 



The wife of my bosom, alas ! she did 
die; 



For sweet consolation to church I did 

fly; 
I found that old Solomon proved it 

fair. 
That a big-belly*d bottle 's a cure for 

all care. 



I once was persuaded a venture to 
make ; 

A letter informed me that all was to 
wreck ; 

But the pursy old landlord just wad- 
dled up stairs. 

With a glorious bottle that ended my 
cares. 



VI. 

' Life's cares they are comforts ' — a 

maxim laid down 
By the Bard, what d' ye call him ? that 

wore the black gown ; 
And faith I agree with th' old prig to 

a hair : 
For a big-belly'd bottle 's a heav'n of 

a care. 



A STANZA ADDED IN A MASON 
LODGE. 

Then fill up a bumper and mak^ it 
overflow. 

And honours Masonic prepare for to 
throw : 

May ev'ry true Brother of the Com- 
pass and Square 

Have a big-belly'd bottle, when 
harass 'd with care ! 



ODE. SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF MRS. OSWALD. 



91 



ADDED, EDINBURGH, 1793. 



WRITTEN IN FRIARS CARSE 
HERMITAGE, ON NITHSIDE. 

[This is the second version of a piece 
originally inscribed on a window pane of 
Friars Carse Hermitage, in June, 1788.] 

Thou whom chance may hither lead 
Be thou clad in russet weed, 
Be thou deckt in silken stole, 
Grave these counsels on thy soul. 

Life is but a day at most, 
Sprung from night, — in darkness lost : 
Hope not sunshine ev'ry hour, 
Fear not clouds will always lour. 

As Youth and Love with sprightly 
dance 
Beneath thy morning star advance, 
Pleasure with her siren air 
May delude the thoughtless pair : 
Let Prudence bless Enjoyment's cup, 
Then raptur'd sit and sip it up. 

As thy day grows warm and high, 
Life's meridian flaming nigh. 
Dost thou spurn the humble vale ? 
Life's proud summits would'st thou 

scale ? 
Check thy climbing step, elate. 
Evils lurk in felon wait : 
Dangers, eagle-pinioned, bold. 
Soar around each cliffy hold : 
While cheerful Peace with linnet song 
Chants the lowly dells among. 

As the shades of evening close, 
Beckoning thee to long repose ; 
As life itself becomes disease, 
Seek the chimney-nook of ease : 
There ruminate with sober thought. 
On all thou *st seen, and heard, and 

wrought : 
And teach the sportive younkers 

round, 
Saws of experience, sage and sound : 



Say, man's true, genuine estimate. 
The grand criterion of his fate. 
Is not. Art thou high or low? 
Did fhy fortune ebb or flow? 
Did many talents gild thy span? 
Or frugal Nature grudge thee one ? 
Tell them, and press it on their mind, 
As thou thyself must shortly find, 
The smile or frown of awful Heav'n 
To Virtue or to Vice is giv'n : 
Say, to be just, and kind, and wise — 
There solid self-enjoyment lies ; 
That foolish, selfish, faithless ways 
Lead to be wretched, vile, and base. 

Thus resigned and quiet, creep 
To the bed of lasting sleep : 
Sleep, whence thou shall ne'er awake, 
Night, where dawn shall never break ; 
Till future life, future no more, 
To light and joy the good restore. 
To light and joy unknown before. 

Stranger, go! Heav'n be thy guide! 
Quod the beadsman of Nithside. 



ODE. SACRED TO THE MEM- 
ORY OF MRS. OSWALD OF 
AUCHENCRUIVE. 

[The subject of this ode was the widow 
of Richard Oswald, Esq., of Auchencruive.] 

Dweller in yon dungeon dark. 
Hangman of creation, mark ! 
W' ho in widow- weeds appears, 
Laden with unhonoured years. 
Noosing with care a bursting purse, 
Baited with many a deadly curse? 

STROPHE. 

View the withered beldam's face : 
Can thy keen inspection trace 
Aught ^of Humanity's sweet, melting 

grace ? 
Note that eye, 'tis rheum o'erflows — 



92 



ELEGY ON CAPTAIN MATTHEW HENDERSON. 



Pity's flood there never rose. 

See those hands, ne'er stretchVl to 
save, 

Hands that took, but never gave. 

Keeper of Mammon's iron chest, 

Lo, there she goes, unpitied and 
unblest, 

She goes, but not to realms of ever- 
lasting rest ! 

ANTISTROPHE. 

Plunderer of Armies! lift thine eyes 
(A while forbear, ye torturing 
fiends), 
Seest thou whose step, unwilling, 

hither bends? 
No fallen angel, hurPd from upper 
skies ! 
'T is thy trusty, quondam Mate, 
Doom'd to share thy fiery fate : 
She, tardy, hell- ward plies. 

EPODE. 

And are they of no more avail. 
Ten thousand glittering pounds 
a-year ? 
In other worlds can Mammon fail. 
Omnipotent as he is here? 
O bitter mockery of the pompous bier! 
While down the wretched vital part 
is driven, 
The cave-lodg'd beggar, with a con- 
science clear, 
Expires in rags, unknown, and goes 
to Heaven. 



ELEGY ON CAPTAIN MAT- 
THEW HENDERSON. 

A GENTLEMAN WHO HELD THE PAT- 
ENT FOR HIS HONOURS IMMEDI- 
ATELY FROM ALMIGHTY GOd! 

But now his radiajit course is run. 
For Matthew s cotirse was bright : 

His soul was like the glorious sun 
A matchless, Heavenly light. 

[The name of this gentleman is found in 
the list of subscribers to the poet's Edin- 



burgh edition of April, 1787. In sending a 
copy of it to Dr. Moore, he says, " The elegy 
on Capt. Henderson is a tribute to the mem- 
ory of a man I loved much."] 



O Death! thou tyrant fell and 

bloody! 
The meikle Devil wi' a woodie 
Haurl thee hame to his black s middle 

O'er hurcheon hides, 
And like stock-fish come o'er his 
studdie 

Wi' thy auld sides ! 

IL 

He's gane, he's gane! he's frae us 

torn. 
The ae best fellow e'er was born ! 
Thee, Matthew, Nature's sel shall 
mourn. 

By wood and wild. 
Where, haply. Pity strays forlorn, 
Frae man exil'd. 

III. 

Ye hills, near neebors o' the starns, 
That proudly cock your cresting 

cairns! 
Ye cliifs, the haunts of sailing yearns. 

Where Echo slumbers ! 
Come join ye, Nature's sturdiest 
bairns, 

My wailing numbers ! 

IV. 

Mourn, ilka grove the cushat kens ! 
Ye hazly shaws and briery dens ! 
Ye burnies, wimplin down your glens 

Wi' toddhn din, 
Or foaming, Strang, wi' hasty stens, 

Frae lin to lin ! 



Mourn, little harebells o'er the lea ; 
Ye stately foxgloves, fair to see ; 
Ye woodbines, hanging bonilie 
In scented bowers ; 



ELEGY ON CAPTAIN MATTHEW HENDERSON. 



93 



Ye roses on your thorny tree, 
The first o' flowers ! 



VI. 

At dawn, when every grassy blade 
Droops with a diamond at his head ; 
At ev'n, when beans their fragrance 
shed 

r th' rustling gale ; 
Ye maukins, whiddin through the 
glade ; 

Come join my wail ! 

VII. 

Mourn, ye wee songsters o' the wood ; 
Ye grouse that crap the heather bud ; 
Ye curlews, calling thro' a clud ; 

Ye whistling plover ; 
And mourn, ye whirring paitrick 
brood : 

He 's gane for ever ! 

VIII. 

Mourn, sooty coots, and speckled 

teals ; 
Ye fisher herons, watching eels ; 
Ye duck and drake, wi' airy wheels 

Circling the lake ; 
Ye bitterns, till the quagmire reels, 
Rair for his sake ! 



IX. 

Mourn, clam'ring craiks, at close o' 

day, 
'Mang fields o' flowVing clover gay ! 
And when you wing your annual way 

Frae our cauld shore. 
Tell thae far warlds wha lies in clay, 

Wham we deplore. 



Ye houlets, frae your ivy bower 

In some auld tree, or eldritch tower. 

What time the moon, wi' silent glowr. 

Sets up her horn, 
Wail thro' the dreary midnight hour 

Till waukrife morn ! 



XI. 

O rivers, forests, hills, and plains ! 
Oft have ye heard my canty strains : 
But now^, what else for me remains 

But tales of woe ? 
And frae my een the drapping rains 

Maun ever flow. 



XII. 

Mourn, Spring, thou darling of the 

year ! 
Ilk cowslip cup shall kep a tear : 
Thou, Simmer, while each corny 
spear 

Shoots up its head, 
Thy gay, green, flowery tresses shear 
For him that \s dead ! 



XIIT. 

Thou, Autumn, wi' thy yellow hair, 
In grief thy sallow mantle tear ! 
Thou, Winter, hurling thro' the air 

The roaring blast. 
Wide o'er the naked world declare 

The worth we Ve lost ! 



XIV. 

Mourn him, thou Sun, great source 

of light ! 
Mourn, Empress of the silent night ! 
And you, ye twinkling starnies bright, 

My Matthew mourn ! 
For through your orbs he 's taen his 
flight. 

Ne'er to return. 



XV. 

O Henderson ! the man ! the brother! 
And art thou gone, and gone for 

ever? 
And hast thou crost that unknown 
river, 

Life's dreary bound ? 
Like thee, where shall I find another, 
The world around ? 



94 



LAMENT OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS. 



XVI. 

Go to your sculptured tombs, ye Great, 
In a' the tinsel trash o^ state ! 
But by thy honest turf I '11 wait, 

Thou man of worth ! 
And weep the ae best fellow's fate 

E'er lay in earth ! 

THE EPITAPH. 

I. 

Stop, passenger ! my story 's brief, 
And truth I shall relate, man : 

I tell nae common tale o' grief, 
For Matthew was a great man. 

II. 

If thou uncommon merit hast, 

Yet spurn'd at Fortune's door, 
man ; 

A look of pity hither cast, 

For Matthew was a poor man. 

III. 

If thou a noble sodger art, 

That passest by this grave, man ; 

There moulders here a gallant heart, 
For Matthew was a brave man. 

IV. 

If thou on men, their works and ways. 
Canst throw uncommon light, man ; 

Here lies wha weel had won thy 
praise. 
For Matthew was a bright man. 

V. 

If thou, at Friendship's sacred ca', 
Wad life itself resign, man ; 

Thy sympathetic tear maun fa'. 
For Matthew was a kind man. 



VI. 

If thou art staunch, without a stain. 
Like the unchanging blue, man ; 

This was a kinsman o' thy ain, 
For Matthew was a true man. 



VII. 



If thou hast'wit, and fun, and fire. 
And ne'er guid wine did fear, man ; 

This was thy billie, dam, and sire, 
For Matthew was a queer man. 



VIII. 

If onie whiggish, whingin sot, 

To blame poor Matthew dare, man ; 

May dool and sorrow be his lot ! 
For Matthew was a rare man. 



LAMENT OF MARY QUEEN 
OF SCOTS 

ON THE APPROACH OF SPRING. 

[" The poets have ever sided with the 
victim of Elizabeth, of John Knox, and of 
her own brother. Burns had been reading 
the ' Percy Reliques,' which accounts for 
the form of the piece." — ANDREW Lang.] 



Now Nature hangs her mantle green, 

On every blooming tree, 
And spreads her sheets o' daisies 
white 

Out o''er the grassy lea ; 
Now Phoebus cheers the crystal 
streams, 

And glads the azure skies : 
But nought can glad the weary wight 

That fast in durance lies. 



II. 

Now laverocks wake the merry morn, 

Aloft on dewy wing ; 
The merle, in his noontide bowr, 

Makes woodland echoes ring ; 
The mavis wild wi^ monie a note 

Sings drowsy day to rest : 
In love and freedom they rejoice, 

Wi' care nor thrall opprest. 



TO ROBERT GRAHAM OF FINTRY, ESQ. 



95 



III. 

Now blooms the lily by the bank, 

The primrose down the brae ; 
The hawthorn 's budding in the glen, 

And milk-white is the slae : 
The meanest hind in fair Scotland 

May rove their sweets amang ; 
But I, the Queen of a' Scotland 

Maun lie in prison Strang. 

IV. 

I was the Queen o' bonie France, 

Where happy I hae been ; 
Fu' lightly rase I in the morn, 

As blythe lay down at e'en : 
And I 'm the sov'reign of Scotland, 

And monie a traitor there ; 
Yet here I lie in foreign bands 

And never-ending care. 



But as for thee, thou false woman, 

My sister and my fae, 
Grim vengeance yet shall whet a 
sword 

That thro' thy soul shall gae I 
The weeping blood in woman's breast 

Was never known to thee ; 
Nor th' balm that draps on wounds of 
woe 

Frae woman's pitying e'e. 

VI. 

My son ! my son ! may kinder stars 

Upon thy fortune shine ; 
And may those pleasures gild thy 
reign. 

That ne'er wad blink on mine ! 
God keep thee frae thy mother's faes. 

Or turn their hearts to thee ; 
And where thou meet'st thy mother's 
friend. 

Remember him for me ! 



VII. 

O! soon, to me, may summer suns 
Nae mair light up the morn! 



Nae mair to me the autumn winds 
Wave o'er the yellow corn ! 

And, in the narrow house of death. 
Let winter round me rave ; 

And the next fiow'rs that deck the 
spring 
Bloom on my peaceful grave. 



TO ROBERT GRAHAM OF 
FINTRY, ESQ. 

[Robert Graham of Fintry was one of the 
commissioners of excise. " Of all Burns's 
friends," writes Wilson, " he was the most 
efficient." When Burns was accused of 
disloyalty he defended him boldly and well.] 

Late crippl'd of an arm, and now 

a leg; 
About to beg a pass for leave to 

beg; 
Dull, listless, teas'd, dejected, and de- 

prest 
(Nature is adverse to a cripple's 

rest) ; 
Will generous Graham list to his 

Poet's wail 
( It soothes poor Misery, hearkening 

to her tale). 
And hear^him curse the light he* first 

survey'd, ,» 

And doubly curse the luckless rhym- 
ing trade ? 

Thou, Nature ! partial Nature ! I 

arraign ; 
Of thy caprice maternal I complain : 
The lion and the bull thy care have 

found, 
One shakes the forests, and one spurns 

the ground ; 
Thou giv'st the ass his hide, the snail 

his shell ; 
Th' envenom'd wasp, victorious, 

guards his cell ; 
Thy minions kings defend, control, 

devour, 
In all th' omnipotence of rule and 

power. 



96 



TO ROBERT GRAHAM OF FINTRY, ESQ. 



Foxes and statesmen subtile wiles 

ensure ; 
The cit and polecat stink, and are 

secure ; 
Toads with their poison, doctors with 

their drug, 
The priest and hedgehog in their 

robes, are snug ; 
Ev'n silly woman has her warlike 

arts. 
Her tongue and e3'es — her dreaded 

spear and darts. 

But O thou bitter step-mother and 

hard, 
To thy poor, fenceless, naked child — 

the Bard ! 
A thing unteachable in world's skill, 
And half an idiot too, more helpless 

still : 
No heels to bear him from the open- 
ing dun. 
No claws to dig, his hated sight to 

shun ; 
No horns, but those by luckless Hy- 
men worn. 
And those, alas ! not, Amalthea's 

horn ; 
No nerves olfactVy, Mammon's trusty 

cur, 
Clad in rich Dulness' comfortable 

fur; 
In naked feeling, and in aching 

pride, 
He bears th' unbroken blast from evVy 

side : 
Vampyre booksellers drain him to the 

heart. 
And scorpion critics cureless venom 

dart. 

Critics — appaird, I venture on the 

name ; 
Those cut-throat bandits in the paths 

of fame ; 
Bloody dissectors, worse than ten 

Monroes : 
He hacks to teach, they mangle to 

expose. 



His heart by causeless wanton mal- 
ice wrung, 

By blockheads' daring into madness 
stung; 

His well-won bays, than life itself 
more dear, 

By miscreants torn, who ne'er one 
sprig must wear ; 

FoiPd, bleeding, tortur'd in th' un- 
equal strife. 

The hapless Poet flounders on thro' 
life: 

Till, fled each hope that once his 
bosom fird, 

And fled each Muse that glorious 
once inspir'd. 

Low sunk in squalid, unprotected 
age, 

Dead even resentment for his injur'd 
page. 

He heeds or feels no more the ruth- 
less critic's rage ! 

So, by some hedge, the gen'rous steed 
deceas'd, 

For half-starv'd snarling curs a dainty 
feast. 

By toil and famine wore to skin and 
bone. 

Lies, senseless of each tugging bitch's 
son. 



O Dulness ! portion of the truly 

blest ! 
Calm shelter'd haven of eternal 

rest ! 
Thy sons ne'er madden in the fierce 

extremes 
Of Fortune's polar frost, or torrid 

beams. 
If mantling high she fills the golden 

cup. 
With sober, selfish ease they sip 

it up: 
Conscious the bounteous meed they 

well deserve, 
They only wonder ' some folks ' do 

not starve. 
The grave, sage hern thus easy picks 

his frog, 



LAMENT FOR JAMES, EARL OF GLENCAIRN. 



97 



And thinks the mallard a sad, worth- 
less dog. 

When Disappointment snaps the clue 
of hope, 

And thro' disastrous night they dark- 
ling grope, 

With deaf endurance sluggishly they 
bear, 

And just conclude ^that fools are for- 
tune's care.' 

So, heavy, passive to the tempest's 
shocks, 

Strong on the sign-post stands the 
stupid ox. 

Not so the idle Muses' mad-cap 
train ; 

Not such the workings of their moon- 
struck brain : 

In equanimity they never dwell ; 

By turns in soaring heav'n, or vaulted 
hell. 

I dread thee, Fate, relentless and 

severe. 
With all a poet's, husband's, father's 

fear! 
Already one strong hold of hope is 

lost: 
Glencairn, the truly noble, lies in 

dust 
(Fled, like the sun eclips'd as noon 

appears. 
And left us darkling in a world of 

tears) . 
O, hear my ardent, grateful, selfish 

pray'r ! 
Fintry, my other stay, long bless and 

spare 1 
Thro' a long life his hopes and wishes 

crown, 
And bright in cloudless skies his sun 

go down ! 
May bliss domestic smooth his pri- 
vate path ; 
Give energy to life ; and soothe his 

latest breath, 
With many a filial tear circling the 

bed of death ! 

H 



LAMENT FOR JAMES, EARL 
OF GLENCAIRN. 

[This nobleman, for whom the poet had 
a deep respect, died at Falmouth, in his 
forty-second year.j 



The wind blew hollow frae the hills ; 

By fits the sun's departing beam 
Look'd on the fading yellow woods, 

That wav'd o'er Lugar's winding 
stream. 
Beneath a craigy steep a Bard, 

Laden with years and meikle pain. 
In loud lament bewail'd his lord. 

Whom Death had all untimelv taen. 



II. 

He lean'd him to an ancient aik. 

Whose trunk was mould ring down 
with years ; 
His locks were bleached white with 
time. 

His hoary cheek was wet wi' tears ; 
And as he touch'd his trembling harp. 

And as he tun'd his doleful sang. 
The winds, lamenting thro' their caves, 

To echo bore the notes alans: : — 



III. 

' Ye scatter'd birds that faintly sing. 
The reliques of the vernal quire! 

Ye woods that shed on a' the winds 
The honours of the aged year ! 

A few short months, and, glad and 

gay, 

Again ye '11 charm the ear and e'e • 
But nocht in all revolving time 
Can gladness bring again to me. 

IV. 

^ I am a bending aged tree. 

That long has stood the wind and 
rain ; 
But now has come a cruel blast, 

And my ^ast hold of earth is gane ; 



98 



LINES TO SIR JOHN WHITEFOORD, BART. 



Nae leaf o' mine shall greet the spring, 
Nae simmer sun exalt my bloom ; 

But I maun lie before the storm, 
And ithers plant them in my room. 



^ I Ve seen sae monie changefu^ years, 

On earth I am a stranger grown : 
I wander in the ways of men, 

Alike unknowing and unknown : 
Unheard, unpitied, unrelieved, 

I bear alane my lade o' care ; 
For silent, low, on beds of dust. 

Lie a' that would my sorrows share. 



VI. 

'And last (the sum of a' my griefs!) 

My noble master lies in clay ; 
The flowV amang our barons bold, 

His country's pride, his country's 
stay : 
In weary being now I pine. 

For a' the life of life is dead, 
And hope has left my aged ken. 

On forward wing: for ever fled. 



VII. 

' Awake thy last sad voice, my harp ! 

The voice of woe and wild despair ! 
Awake, resound thy latest lay, 

Then sleep in silence evermair ! 
And thou, my last, best, only friend. 

That fillest an untimely tomb, 
Accept this tribute from the Bard 

Thou brought from Fortune's mirk- 
est gloom 

VIII. 

* In Poverty's low barren vale. 

Thick mists obscure involvM me 
round; 
Though oft 1 turn'd the wistful eye, 
Nae ray of fame was to be found ; 
Thou found'st me, like the morning 
sun 
That melts the fogs in limpid air : 



The friendless Bard and rustic song 
Became alike thy fostering care. 



IX. 

' O, why has Worth so short a date. 

While villains ripen grey with time ! 
Must thou, the noble, gen'rous, great. 

Fall in bold manhood's hardy prime ? 
Why did I live to see that day, 

A day to me so full of woe ? 
O, had I met the mortal shaft 

Which laid my benefactor low! 



X. 

' The bridegroom may forget the bride 

Was made his wedded wife yes- 
treen ; 
The monarch may forget the crown 

That on his head an hour has been ; 
The mother may forget the child 

That smiles sae sweetly on her knee ; 
But I '11 remember thee, Glencairn, 

And a' that thou hast done for me !' 



LINES TO SIR JOHN WHITE- 
FOORD, Bart. 

SENT WITH THE FOREGOING POEM. 

[Sir John Whitefoord was, like Glencairn , 
the warm friend of Burns.] 

Thou, who thy honour as thy God 

rever'st, 
Who, save thy mind's reproach, 

nought earthly fear'st. 
To thee this votive oif 'ring I impart, 
The tearful tribute of a broken heart. 
The Friend thou valued'st, I the Patron 

lov'd ; 
His worth, his honour, all the world 

approv'd : 
We 11 mourn till we too go as he has 

gone. 
And tread the shadowy path to that 

dark world unknown. 



TAINI O' SHANTER. 



99 



TAM O' SHANTER. 

A TALE. 

Of Brownyis and ofBogillis full is this Buke. 
Gawi'n Douglas. 

[" This immortal poem was composed in 
1789-90. It is much to be regretted that 
Burns, with such a gift of narrative, did not 
continue to write tales which would haVe 
won for him the place of a Scott, and, in 
humor, not an inferior Chaucer." — AN- 
DREW Lang. See Notes.] 

When chapman billies leave the street, 
And drouthy neebors neebors meet ; 
As market-days are wearing late, 
An' folk begin to tak the gate ; 
While we sit bousing at the nappy, 
An' getting fou and unco happy, 
We think na on the lang Scots miles. 
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles. 
That lie between us and our hame, 
Whare sits our sulky, sullen dame. 
Gathering her brows like gathering 

storm, 
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm. 

This truth fand honest Tam o' 
Shanter, 
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter : 
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town sur- 
passes. 
For honest men and bonie lasses.) 

O Tam, had'st thou but been sae 

wise. 
As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice ! 
She tauld thee weel thou was a skel- 

lum, 
A blethering, blustering, drunken blel- 

lum ; 
That frae November till October, 
Ae market-day thou was nae sober ; 
That ilka meMer wi' the miller. 
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller ; 
That evVy naig was ca'd a shoe on, 
The smith and thee gat roaring fou on : 
That at the Lord's house, even on 

Sunday, 



Thou drank wi' Kirkton Jean till 

Monday. 
She prophesied, that, late or soon. 
Thou would be found deep drown'd 

in Doon, 
Or catch 'd wi' warlocks in the mirk 
By Alloway's auld, haunted kirk. 

Ah! gentle dames, it gars me greet. 
To think how monie counsels sweet. 
How monie lengthen'd, sage advices 
The husband frae the wife despises ! 

But to our tale : — Ae market- 
night, 
Tam had got planted unco right. 
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely, 
Wi' reaming swats, that drank di- 
vinely ; 
And at his elbow, Souter Johnie, 
His ancient, trusty, drouthy cronie : 
Tam lo'ed him like a very brither ; 
They had been fou for weeks the- 

gither. 
The night drave on wi' sangs and 

clatter ; 
And ay the ale was growing better : 
The landlady and Tam grew gracious 
Wi' secret favours, sweet and precious : 
The Souter tauld his queerest stories ; 
The landlord's laugh was ready 

chorus : 
The storm without might rair and 

rustle, 
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle. 

Care, mad to see a man sae happy, 
E'en drown'd himsel amang the nappy. 
As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure. 
The minutes wing'd their way wi' 

pleasure : 
Kings may be blest but Tam was 

glorious. 
O'er a' the ills o' life victorious! 

But pleasures are like poppies 

spread : 
You seize the flow'r, its bloom is 

shed ; 
Or like the snow falls in the river, 



1 v- 



lOO 



TAM O' SHANTER. 



A moment white — then melts for 

ever; 
Or like the borealis race, 
That flit ere you can point their 

place ; 
Or like the rainbow's lovely form 
Evanishing amid the storm. 
Nae man can tether time or tide ; 
The hour approaches Tam maun ride : 
That hour, o' night's black arch the 

key-stane, 
That dreary hour Tam mounts his 

beast in ; 
And sic a nio^ht he taks the road in, 
As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in. 

The wind blew as 't wad blawn its 
last; 

The rattling showers rose on the 
blast; 

The speedy gleams the darkness 
swallowed ; 

Loud, deep, and lang the thunder 
bellow'd : 

That night, a child might under- 
stand, 

The Deil had business on his hand. 

Weel mounted on his gray mare 

Meg, 
A better never lifted leg, 
Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire. 
Despising wind, and rain, and fire ; 
Whiles holding fast his guid blue 

bonnet. 
Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots 

sonnet. 
Whiles glow'ring round wi' prudent 

cares. 
Lest bogles catch him unawares : 
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh, 
Whare ghaists and houlets nightly 

cry. 

By this time he w^as cross the ford. 
Whare in the snaw the chapman 

smoor'd ; 
And past the birks and meikle stane, 
Whare drunken Charlie brak 's neck- i 

bane ; [ 



And thro' the whins, and by the 

cairn, 
Whare hunters fand the murder'd 

bairn ; 
And near the thorn, aboon the well, 
Whare Mungo's mither hangxl hersel. 
Before him Doon pours all his floods ; 
The doubling storm roars thro' the 

woods ; 
The lightnings flash from pole to 

pole ; 
Near and more near the thunders 

roll : 
When, glimmering thro' the groaning 

trees, 
Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze. 
Thro' ilka bore the beams were glanc- 
ing. 
And loud resounded mirth and danc- 



Inspiring bold John Barleycorn, 

What dangers thou canst make us 
scorn ! 

Wi' tippenny, we fear nae evil ; 

Wi' usquabae, we '11 face the Devil ! 

The swats sae ream'd in^ Tammie's 
noddle, 

Fair play, he car'd na deils a boddle. 

But Maggie stood, right sair aston- 
ished. 

Till, by the heel and hand admon- 
ished, 

She ventur'd forward on the light ; 

And, vow ! Tam saw an unco sight ! 

Warlocks and witches in a dance : 
Nae cotillion, brent new frae France, 
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and 

reels. 
Put life and mettle in their heels. 
A winnock-bunker in the east, 
There sat Auld Nick, in shape o' 

beast ; 
A tousie tyke, black, grim, and large, 
To gie them music was his charge : 
He screw'd the pipes and gart them 

skirl. 
Till roof and rafters a' did did. 
Coffins stood round, like open presses, 



TAM O' SHANTER. 



lOI 



That shaw'd the dead in their last 

dresses ; 
And, by some devilish cantraip sleight, 
Each in its cauld hand held a light : 
By which heroic Tarn was able 
To note upon the haly table, 
A murderer's banes, in gibbet-airns ; 
Twa span-lang, wee, un christened 

bairns ; 
A thief new-cutted frae a rape — 
Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape ; 
Five tomahawks wi' bluid red-rusted ; 
Five scymitars wi' murder crusted ; 
A garter which a babe had strangled ; 
A knife a father's throat had man- 
gled— 
Whom his ain son o' life bereft — 
The grey-hairs yet stack to the heft ; 
Wi' mair of horrible and awefu'. 
Which even to name wad be unlawfu\ 

As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, and 

curious. 
The mirth and fun grew fast and 

furious ; 
The piper loud and louder blew, 
The dancers quick and quicker flew. 
They reePd, they set, they crossed, 

they cleekit. 
Till ilka carlin swat and reekit. 
And coost her duddies to the wark, 
And linket at it in her sark ! 

Now Tam, O Tam ! had thae been 

queans, 
A' plump and strapping in their 

teens! 
Their sarks, instead o^ creeshie flan- 

nen, 
Been snaw-white seventeen hunder 

linen! — 
Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair. 
That ance were plush, o' guid blue 

hair, 
I wad hae gi'en them off my hurdles 
For ae blink o' the bonie burdies ! 

But witherM beldams, auld and 
droll, 
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal, 



Louping and flinging on a crummock, 
I wonder did na turn thy stomach ! 

But Tam kend what was what fu* 
brawlie : 
There was ae winsome wench and 

wawlie. 
That night enlisted in the core, 
Lang after kend on Carrick shore 
(For monie a beast to dead she shot, 
An' perish'd monie a bonie boat, 
And shook baith meikle corn and 

bear, 
And kept the country-side in fear). 
Her cutty sark, o' Paisley harn. 
That while a lassie she had worn, 
In longitude tho' sorely scanty. 
It was her best, and she was 

vauntie. . . . 
Ah! little kend thy reverend grannie, 
That sark she coft for her wee Nan- 
nie, 
Wi' twa pund Scots ('t was a' her 

riches). 
Wad ever grac'd a dance of witches ! 

But here my Muse her wing maun 
cour, 
Sic flights are far beyond her power : 
To sing how Nannie lap and flang 
(A souple jad she was and Strang), 
And how Tam stood like ane be- 
witched. 
And thought his very een enrich'd ; 
Even Satan glowr'd, and fidg'd fu' 

fain. 
And hotch'd and blew wi' might and 

main ; 
Till first ae caper, syne anither, 
Tam tint his reason a' thegither, 
And roars out : ' Weel done, Cutty- 

sark ! ' 
And in an instant all was dark ; 
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied, 
When out the hellish legion sallied. 

As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke, 
When plundering herds assail their 

byke; 
As open pussie's mortal foes, 



102 



ON SEEING A WOUNDED HARE LIMP BY ME. 



When, pop! she starts before their 

nose ; 
As eager runs the market-crowd, 
When ^ Catch the thief!' resounds 

aloud '. 
So Maggie runs, the witches follow, 
Wi' monie an eldritch skriech and 

hollo. 

Ah, Tarn! Ah, Tarn ! thou '11 get 

thy fairin! 
In hell they '11 roast thee like a herrin! 
In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin^ ! 
Kate soon will be a woefu' woman ! 
Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg, 
And win the key-stane of the brig ; 
There, at them thou thy tail may 

toss, 
A running stream they dare na cross ! 
But ere the key-stane she could make, 
The fient a tail she had to shake ; 
For Nannie, far before the rest, 
Hard upon noble Maggie prest, 
And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle ; 
But little wist she Maggie's mettle! 
Ae spring brought off her master 

hale. 
But left behind her ain grey tail : 
The carlin claught her by the rump. 
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump. 

Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read, 
Ilk man, and mother's son, take heed : 
Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd, 
Or cutty sarks run in your mind. 
Think ! ye may buy the joys o'er dear : 
Remember Tam o' S banter's mare. 



ON SEEING A WOUNDED 
HARE LIMP BY ME WHICH 
A FELLOW HAD JUST SHOT 
AT. 

[Of this poem Burns says, April 21, 1789 : 
"Two mornings ago, as 1 was at a very 
early hour sowing in the fields, I heard a 
shot, and presently a poor little hare limped 
by me apparently very much hurt. You will 



easily guess this set my humanity in tears 
and my indignation in arms."] 



Inhuman man ! curse on thy barbVous 
art, 
And blasted be thy murder-aiming 

eye; 
May never pity sooth thee with a 
sigh. 
Nor never pleasure glad thy cruel 
heart! 

II. 

Go live, poor wanderer of the wood 
and field. 
The bitter little that of life remains! 
No more the thickening brakes and 
verdant plains 
To thee shall home, or food, or pastime 
yield. 

III. 

Seek, mangled wretch, some place of 
wonted rest. 
No more of rest, but now thy dying 

bed! 
The sheltering rushes whistling o'er 
thy head, 
The cold earth with thy bloody bosom 
prest. 

IV. 

Perhaps a mother's anguish adds its 
woe ; 
The playful pair crowd fondly by 

thy side : 
Ah, helpless nurslings, who will now 
provide 
That life a mother only can bestow ? 



Oft as by winding Nith I, musing, wait 
The sober eve, or hail the cheerful 

dawn, 
I '11 miss thee sporting o'er the dewy 
lawn, 
And curse the ruffian's aim, and mourn 
thy hapless fate. 



ON THE LATE CAPTAIN GROSE'S PEREGRINATIONS. 



103 



ADDRESS TO THE SHADE OF 
THOMSON, 

ON CROWNING HIS BUST AT EDNAM, 
ROXBURGHSHIRE, WITH A WREATH 
OF BAYS. 

[An imitation ot Collins. The poem was 
written for Lord Buchan, on the occasion of 
crowning the bust of Thomson with a wreath 
of bays.] 



I. 



While virgin Spring by Eden's flood 
Unfolds her tender mantle green, 

Or pranks the sod in frolic mood, 
Or tunes Eolian strains between : 



II. 

While Summer with a matron grace. 
Retreats to Dryburgh's cooling 
shade, 

Yet oft, delighted, stops to trace 
The progress of the spikey blade : 



III. 

While Autumn, benefactor kind, 
By Tweed erects his aged head. 

And sees, with self-approving mind. 
Each creature on his bounty fed : 



IV. 

While maniac Winter rages o'er 
The hills whence classic Yarrow 
flows, 

Rousing the turbid torrent's roar, 
Or sweeping, wild, a waste of snows : 



So long, sweet Poet of the year! 
Shall bloom that wreath thou well 
has won ; 
While Scotia, with exulting tear. 
Proclaims that Thomson was her 
son. 



ON THE LATE CAPTAIN 
GROSE'S PEREGRINATIONS 
THRO' SCOTLAND, 

collecting the antiquities of 
that kingdom. 

[Captain Grose was the son of Francis 
Grose, a Swiss, who had settled in England. 
He was born about 173 1, and was educated 
as an artist. Cunningham says this " fine, 
fat, fodgel wight" was a clever man, a skil- 
ful antiquary, and fond of wit and wine. 
Burns first met him at the social board of 
Glenriddell.] 

I. 

Hear, Land o' Cakes, and brither 

Scots 
Frae Maidenkirk to Johnie Groat^s, 
If there 's a hole in a' your coats, 

I rede you tent it : 
A chield 's amang you takin notes, 
And faith he '11 prent it : 

II. 

If in your bounds ye chance to light 

Upon a fine, fat, fodgel wight, 

O' stature short but genius bright, 

That 's he, mark weel : 
And wow! he has an unco sleight 

O' cauk and keel. 

III. 

By some auld, houlet-haunted biggin, 

Or kirk deserted by its riggin, 

It 's ten to ane ye II find him snug in 

Some eldritch part, 
Wi' deils, they say, Lord safe's! col- 
leaguin 

At some black art. 



IV. 

Ilk ghaist that haunts auld ha' or 

chamer. 
Ye gipsy-gang that deal in glamour. 
And you, deep-read in helFs black 

grammar. 

Warlocks and witches : 



I04 



TO MISS CRUICKSHANK. 



Ye '11 quake at his conjuring hammer, 
Ye midniofht bitches! 



V. 

It 's tauld he was a sodger bred, 
And ane wad rather fa'n than fled ; 
But now he 's quat the spurtle-blade 

And dog-skin wallet, 
And taen the — Antiquarian trade, 

I think they call it. 



VI. 

He has a fouth o' auld nick-nackets : 
Rusty airn caps and jinglin jackets 
Wad haud the Lothians three in 
tackets 

A towmont guid ; 
And parritch-pats and auld saut- 
backets 

Before the Flood. 



VII. 

Of Eve's first fire he has a cinder ; 
Auld Tubalcain's fire-shool and fen- 
der* 
That which distinguished the gender 

O' Balaam's ass ; 
A broomstick o' the witch of Endor, 
Weel shod wi' brass. 



VIII. 

Forbye, he '11 shape you afF fu' gleg 
The cut of Adam's philibeg ; 
The knife that nicket Abel's craig 

He '11 prove you fully, 
It was a faulding jocteleg, 

Or lang-kail gullie. 



IX. 

But wad ye see him in his glee — 
For meikle glee and fun has he-r- 
Then set him down, and twa or three 

Guid fellows wi' him ; 
And port, O port ! shine thou a wee. 

And then ye '11 see him ! 



X. 

Pow'rs 



Now, by the Pow'rs o' verse and 

prose ! 
Thou art a dainty chield, O Grose ! — 
Whae'er o' thee shall ill suppose, 
They sair misca' thee ; 
I 'd take the rascal by the nose. 

Wad say, ' Shame fa' thee.' 



TO MISS CRUICKSHANK. 



A VERY YOUNG LADY. 



Written 07i the Blafik Leaf of a Book, pre- 
se?ited to her by the Author, 

[Miss Jane Cruickshank was a daughter 
of Mr. William Cruickshank, a master of 
the High School, Edinburgh, and was then 
about twelve years old.] 



Beauteous Rosebud, young and gay, 
Blooming on thy early May, 
Never may'st thou, lovely flower, 
Chilly shrink in sleety shower ! 
Never Boreas' hoary path. 
Never Eums' pois'nous breath. 
Never baleful stellar lights, 
Taint thee with untimely blights ! 
Never, never reptile thief 
Riot on thy virgin leaf! 
Nor even Sol too fiercely view 
Thy bosom blushing still with dew! 



May'st thou long, sweet crimson 
gem, 
Richly deck thy native stem ; 
Till some ev'ning, sober, calm, 
Dropping dews and breathing balm ; 
While all around the woodland rings, 
And evVy bird thy requiem sings, 
Thou, amid the dirgeful sound. 
Shed thy dying honours round. 
And resign to parent Earth 
The loveliest form she e'er gave birth. 



ANNA, THY CHARMS. — HUMBLE PETITION OF BRUAR WATER. 105 



SONG: ANNA, THY CHARMS. 

[This song referred to a sweetheart of 
Alexander Cunningham, and was a " vica- 
rious effusion."] 



Anna, thy charms my bosom fire, 
And waste my soul with care ; 

But ah ! how bootless to admh"e 
When fated to despah* ! 

II. 

Yet in thy presence, lovely Fair, 
To hope may be forgiven : 

For sure 't were impious to despair 
So much in si2:ht of Heaven. 



ON READING IN A NEWSPA- 
PER THE DEATH OF JOHN 
MCLEOD, ESQ., 

brother to a young lady, a 
particular friend of the 
author's. 

[Mr. M'Leod was of the Raasay family. 
He died July 20, 1787.] 

I. 

Sad thy tale, thou idle page, 

And rueful thy alarms : 
Death tears the brother of her love 

From Isabella's arms. 

II. 

Sweetly deckt with pearly dew 
The morning rose may blow ; 

But cold successive noontide blasts 
May lay its beauties low. 

III. 

Fair on Isabella's morn 
The sun propitious smiPd ; 

But, long ere noon, succeeding clouds 
Succeeding hopes beguird. 



IV. 



Fate oft tears the bosom-chords 
That Nature finest strung : 

So Isabella's heart was form'd. 
And so that heart was wrung. 



Dread Omnipotence alone 

Can heal the w^ound he gave — 

Can point the brimful, grief-worn eyes 
To scenes beyond the grave. 

VI. 

Virtue's blossoms there shall blow. 
And fear no withering blast ; 

There Isabella's spotless worth 
Shall happy be at last. 



THE HUMBLE PETITION OF 
BRUAR WATER 

to the noble duke of athole. 

[" Bruar Falls, in Athole, are exceedingly 
picturesque and beautiful, but their effect is 
much impaired by the want of trees and 
shrubs." — R. B.] 



My lord, I know, your noble ear 

Woe ne'er assails in vain ; 
Embolden'd thus, I beg you '11 hear 

Your humble slave complain. 
How saucy Phoebus' scorching beams. 

In flaming summer-pride, 
Dry-withering, waste my foamy 
streams. 

And drink my crystal tide. 

II. 

The lightly-jumping, glowrin trouts. 

That thro' my waters play. 
If, in their random, wanton spouts. 

They near the margin stray ; 
If, hapless chance! they linger lang, 

I 'm scorching up so shallow, 
They're left the whitening stanes 
amang 

In gasping death to wallow. 



io6 



TPIE HUMBLE PETITION OF BRUAR WATER. 



III. 

Last day I grat wi' spite and teen. 

As Poet Burns came by, 
That, to a Bard, I should be seen 

Wi' hah' my channel dry ; 
A panegyric rhyme, I ween, 

Ev'n as I was, he shor'd me ; 
But had I in my glory been. 

He, kneeling, wad ador'd me. 



IV. 

Here, foaming down the skelvy rocks. 

In twisting strength I rin ; 
There high my boiling torrent smokes, 

Wild-roaring o'er a linn : 
Enjoying large each spring and well, 

As Nature gave them me, 
I am, altho' I say 't mysel, 

Worth "[aun a mile to see. 



Would, then, my noble master please 

To grant my highest wishes. 
He '11 shade my banks wi' tow'ring 
trees 

And bonie spreading bushes. 
Delighted doubly then, my lord. 

You '11 wander on my banks. 
And listen monie a grateful bird 

Return you tuneful thanks. 

VI. 

The sober laverock, warbling wild. 

Shall to the skies aspire ; 
The gowdspink. Music's gayest child, 

Shall sweetly join the choir ; 
The blackbird strong, the lintwhite 
clear. 

The mavis mild and mellow. 
The robin, pensive Autumn cheer 

In all her locks of yellow. 

VII. 

This, too. a covert shall ensure 
To shield them from the storm ; 

And coward maukin sleep secure. 
Low in her grassy form : 



Here shall the shepherd make his 
seat 

To weave his crown of flow'rs ; 
Or tind a shelt'ring, safe retreat 

From prone-descending show'rs. 

VIII. 

And here, by sweet, endearing stealth, 

Shall meet the loving pair. 
Despising w^orlds with all their wealth, 

As empty idle care : 
The flow'rs shall vie, in all their 
charms, 

The hour of heav'n to grace ; 
And birks extend their fragrant arms 

To screen the dear embrace. 



IX. 

Here haply too, at vernal dawn. 

Some musing Bard may stray. 
And eye the smoking, dewy lawn 

And misty mountain grey ; 
Or, by the reaper's nightly beam, 

Mild-chequering thro' the trees. 
Rave to my darkly dashing stream, 

Hoarse-swelling on the breeze. 



X. 

Let lofty firs and ashes cool 

My lowly banks o'erspread. 
And view, deep-bending in the pool, 

Their shadows' wat'ry bed : 
Let fragrant birks, in woodbines drest. 

My craggy cliffs adorn. 
And, for the little songster's nest, 

The close embow'rinsf thorn ! 



XI. 

So may, old Scotia's darling hope. 

Your little angel band 
Spring, like their fathers, up to prop 

Their honour'd native land ! 
So may, thro' Albion's farthest ken, 

To social-flowing glasses. 
The grace be: ^Athole's honest men 

And Athole's bonie lasses ! ' 



ON SCARING SOME WATER-FOWL. — ADMIRING NATURE. 107 



ON SCARING SOME WATER- 
FOWL IN LOCH TURIT, 

A WILD SCENE AMONG THE HILLS 
OF OUGHTERTYRE. 

[" This was the production of a soHtary 
forenoon's walk from Oughtertyre House. 
I lived there, the guest of Sir William 
Murray, for two or three weeks [October, 
1787], and was much flattered by my hospi- 
table reception." — R. B.] 

Why, ye tenants of the lake, 
For me your wat'ry haunt forsake ? 
Tell me, fellow creatures, why 
At my presence thus you fly ? 
Why disturb your social joys, 
Parent, filial, kindred ties ? — 
Common friend to you and me, 
Nature^s gifts to all are free : 
Peaceful keep your dimpling wave. 
Busy feed, or wanton lave ; 
Or, beneath the sheltering rock. 
Bide the surging billow's shock. 



Conscious, blushing for our race. 
Soon, too soon, your fears I trace. 
Man, your proud, usurping foe. 
Would be lord of all below : 
Plumes himself in freedom's pride, 
Tyrant stern to all beside. 



The eagle, from the cliffy brow 
Marking you his prey below, 
In his breast no pity dwells. 
Strong necessity compels : 
But Man, to whom alone is giv'n 
A ray direct from pitying Heav'n, 
Glories in his heart humane — 
And creatures for his pleasure slain ! 

In these savage, Hquid plains. 
Only known to wandering swains. 
Where the mossy riv'let strays 
Far from human haunts and ways, 
All on Nature you depend, 
And life's poor season peaceful spend. 



Or, if Man's superior might 
Dare invade your native right. 
On the lofty ether borne, 
Man with all his powers you scorn ; 
Swiftly seek, on clanging wings, 
Other lakes, and other springs ; 
And the foe you cannot brave, 
Scorn at least to be his slave. 



VERSES WRITTEN WITH 
A PENCIL 

OVER THE CHIMNEY-PIECE, IN THE 
PARLOUR OF THE INN AT KEN- 
MORE, TAYMOUTH. 

[Burns visited Taymouth Aug. 29, 1787. 
In regard to the poem, he says: " I wrote 
this with a pencil over the cliimney-piece in 
the parlor of the inn at Kenmore, at the 
outlet of Loch Tay."] 

Admiring Nature in her wildest grace, 
These northern scenes with weary feet 

I trace ; 
O^er many a winding dale and painful 

steep, 
Th' abodes of coveyM grouse and 

timid sheep. 
My savage journey, curious, I pursue. 
Till fam'd Breadalbane opens to my 

view. 
The meeting cliifs each deep-sunk 
^ glen divides : 
The woods, wild-scatterM, clothe their 

ample sides ; 
Th' outstretching lake, imbosomed 

^mong the hills, 
The eye with wonder and amazement 

fills: 
The Tay meand'ring sweet in infant 

pride. 
The palace rising on his verdant side, 
The lawns wood-fring'd in Nature's 

native taste. 
The hillocks dropt in Nature's care- 
less haste. 
The arches striding o'er the new-born 

stream. 



io8 



ON THE BIRTH OF A POSTHUMOUS CHILD. 



The village glittering in the noontide 
beam — 



Poetic ardors in my bosom swell, 

Lone wandVing by the hermit's mossy 
cell ; 

The sweeping theatre of hanging 
woods, 

Th' incessant roar of headlong tum- 
bling floods — 



Here Poesy might wake her heav'n- 
taught lyre, 

And look through Nature with crea- 
tive fire ; 

Here, to the wTongs of Fate half- 
reconciPd, 

Misfortune's lightened steps might 
wander wild ; 

And Disappointment, in these lonely 
bounds. 

Find balm to soothe her bitter rank- 
ling wounds ; 

Here heart-struck Grief might heaven- 
ward stretch her scan. 

And injured Worth forget and pardon 
man. 



LINES ON THE FALL OF 
FYERS, NEAR LOCH NESS. 

WRITTEN WITH A PENCIL ON THE 
SPOT. 

[" I composed these lines standing on the 
brink of the hideous caldron below the 
waterfall."— (R. B.) He visited the Fall 
of Fyers on Sept. 5, 1787.] 

Among the heathy hills and ragged 

woods 
The roaring Fyers pours his mossy 

floods ; 
Till full he dashes on the rocky 

mounds, 



Where, thro^ a shapeless breach, his 

stream resounds. 
As high in air the bursting torrents 

flow, 
As deep recoiling surges foam below. 
Prone down the rock the whitening 

sheet descends. 
And viewless Echo's ear, astonish'd^ 

rends. 
Dim-seen through rising mists and 

ceaseless showYs, 
The hoary cavern, wide-surrounding, 

lours : 
Still thro' the gap the struggling river 

toils, 
And still, below, the horrid caldron 

boils — 



ON THE BIRTH OF A POST- 
HUMOUS CHILD, 

BORN IN PECULIAR CIRCUMSTANCES 
OF FAMILY DISTRESS. 

[Composed in November, 1790, on re- 
ceiving a letter from Mrs. Dunlop announc- 
ing that her daughter, Mrs. Henri, whose 
husband had died about five months pre- 
viously, had borne a son.] 



Saveet flowVet, pledge o' meikle love. 
And ward o' monie a prayer. 

What heart o' stane wad thou na 
move, 
Sae helpless, sweet, and fair ! 

II. 

November hirples o'er the lea, 

Chill, on thy lovely form ; 
And gane, alas ! the sheltering tree. 

Should shield thee frae the storm. 

III. 

May He who gives the rain to pour, 
And wings the blast to blaw, 

Protect thee frae the driving show'r, 
The bitter frost and snaw ! 



THE WHISTLE. 



109 



rv. 



May He, the friend of Woe and Want, 
Who heals life's various stounds, 

Protect and guard the mother plant. 
And heal her cruel wounds ! 



V. 



But late she flourish'd, rooted fast. 
Fair on the summer morn, 

Now feebly bends she in the blast, 
Unsheltered and forlorn. 



VI. 



Blest be thy bloom, thou lovely gem, 
Unscath'd by ruffian hand ! 

And from thee many a parent stem 
Arise to deck our land ! 



THE WHISTLE. 

A Ballad. 

[Professor Wilson says of " The Whistle " 
— " It is perhaps an improper poem in 
priggish eyes, but, in the eyes of Bacchus, 
the best of'triumphal odes."^ Regarding the 
poet's share in the transaction, Professor 
Wilson says, " Burns, that evening, was 
sitting with his eldest child on his knee, 
teaching him to say ' Dad ! ' — that night he 
was lying in his own bed, with bonie Jean 
by his side, and ' yon bright god of day ' 
saluted him next morning at the scaur above 
the glittering Nith." For the prose history 
of "The Whistle," see NOTES.] 

I. 

I SING of a Whistle, a Whistle of 
worth, 

I sing of a Whistle, the pride of the 
North, 

Was brought to the court of our good 
Scottish King, 

And long with this Whistle all Scot- 
land shall ring. 

11. 

Old Loda, still rueing the arm of Fin- 
gal 

The God of the Bottle sends down 
from his hall : 



*This Whistle's your challenge, to 

Scotland get o'er, 
And drink them to Hell, Sir ! or ne'er 

see me more ! ' 

III. 

Old poets have sung, and old chroni- 
cles tell, 

What champions ventur'd, what 
chanipions fell : 

The son of great Loda was conqueror 
still. 

And blew on the Whistle their requiem 
shrill. 



IV. 

Till Robert, the lord of the Cairn and 

the Scaur, 
Unmatch'd at the bottle, unconquer'd 

in war. 
He drank his poor god-ship as deep 

as the sea ; 
No tide of the Baltic e'er drunker 

than he. 



Thus Robert, \dctorious, the trophy 
has gain'd ; 

Which now in his house has for ages 
remained ; 

Till three noble chieftains, and all of 
his blood. 

The jovial contest again have re- 
newed. 

VI. 

Three joyous good fellows, with hearts 

clear of flaw ; 
Craigdarroch, so famous for wit, worth, 

and law ; 
And trusty Glenriddel, so skilled in 

old coins ; 
And gallant Sir Robert, deep-read in 

old wines. 

VII. 

Craigdarroch began, with a tongue 
smooth as oil, 



no 



THE WHISTLE. 



Desiring Glenriddel to yield up the 

spoil ; 
Or else he would muster the heads of 

the clan, 
And once more, in claret, try which 

was the man. 



VIII. 

^By the gods of the ancients ! ' Glen- 
riddel replies, 

' Before I surrender so glorious a prize, 

I '11 conjure the ghost of the great 
Rorie More, 

And bumper his horn with him 
twenty times o'er.' 



IX. 

Sir Robert, a soldier, no speech 

would pretend, 
But he ne'er turn'd his back on his 

foe, or his friend ; 
Said : — ' Toss down the Whistle, the 

prize of the field,' 
And, knee-deep in claret, he 'd die 

ere he 'd yield. 



To the board of Glenriddel our heroes 

repair. 
So noted for drowning of sorrow and 

care ; 
But for wine and for welcome not 

more known to fame 
Than the sense, wit, and taste, of a 

sweet lovely dame. 



XI. 

A Bard was selected to witness the 

fray 
And tell future ages the feats of the 

day; 
A Bard who detested all madness and 

spleen 
And wish'd that Parnassus a vineyard 

had been. 



XII. 

The dinner being over, the claret they 
And ev'ry new cork is a new spring of 

joy; 

In the bands of old friendship and 

kindred so set. 
And the bands grew the tighter the 

more they were wet. 

XIII. 

Gay Pleasure ran riot as bumpers ran 
o'er; 

Bright Phoebus ne'er witness'd so joy- 
ous a core, 

And vow'd that to leave them he was 
quite forlorn. 

Till Cynthia hinted he 'd see them next 
morn. 

XIV. 

Six bottles a-piece had well wore out 

the night. 
When gallant Sir Robert, to finish the 

fight, 
Turn'd o'er in one bumper a bottle of 

red. 
And swore 'twas the way that their 

ancestor did. 

XV. 

Then worthy Glenriddel, so cautious 

and sage, 
No longer the w^arfare ungodly would 

wage : 
A high Ruling Elder to wallow in wine ! 
He left the foul business to folks less 

divine. 

XVI. 

The gallant Sir Robert fought hard to 
the end ; 

But who can with Fate and quart 
bumpers contend? 

Though Fate said, a hero should per- 
ish in light ; 

So uprose bright Phoebus — and down 
fell the knight. 



THE JOLLY BEGGARS. 



Ill 



XVII. 

Next uprose our Bard, like a prophet 
in drink : — 

' Craigdarroch, thou 'It soar when crea- 
tion shall sink I 

But if thou would flourish immortal in 
rhyme, 

Come — one bottle more — and have 
at the sublime I 

XVIII. 

*Thy line, that have struggled for 
freedom with Bnice, 

Shall heroes and patriots ever pro- 
duce : 

So thine be the laurel, and mine be 
the bay ; 

The field thou hast won, by yon bright 
God of Day!' 



THE JOLLY BEGGARS. 

A CANTATA. 

[This poem was suggested to Burns by a 
chance visit, in company with Richmond 
and Smith, to the *' doss-house " of Poosie 
Nansie, as Agnes Gibson was nicknamed, 
in the Cowgate, Mauchline. The jolhty of 
the vagrants amused the poet, and he com- 
posed the " Jolly Beggars " a few days after- 
wards. Matthew Arnold calls it a " puissant 
and splendid production." See Notes.] 

RECITATIVO. 



When lyart leaves bestrow the yird, 
Or. wavering like the bauckie-bird, ^ 

Bedim cauld Boreas' blast : 
When hailstanes drive wi' bitter skyte, 
And infant frosts begin to bite, 

In hoary cranreuch drest ; 
Ae night at e'en a merry core 

O* randie. gangrel bodies 
In Poosie-Nansie's held the splore, 

To drink their orra duddies : 
Wi' quaffing and laughing. 
They ranted an' they sang, 



Wi' jumping an' thumping 
The vera girdle rang. 

II. 

First, niest the fire, in auld red rags 
Ane sat, weel brac'd wi' mealy bags 

And knapsack a' in order : 
His doxv lav within his arm ; 
Wi' usquebae an' blankets warm, 

She blinket on her sodger. 
An' ay he gies the tozie drab 

The tither skelpin kiss, 
While she held up her greedy gab 
Just like an aumous dish : 
Ilk smack still did crack still 
Like onie cadger's whup ; 
Then, swaggering an' staggering. 
He roar'd this ditty up : — 

AIR. 
Tune : Soldier's Joy, 

I. 

I am a son of Mars, who have been 
in many wars, 
And show my cuts and scars wher- 
ever I come : 
This here was for a wench, and that 
other in a trench 
When welcoming the French at the 
sound of the drum. 

Lai de daudle, etc. 



II. 



my 



on 



My prenticeship I past, where 
leader breath'd his last. 
When the bloody die was cast 
the heights of Abram ; 
And I served out my trade when the 
gallant game was play'd. 
And the Moro low was laid at the 
sound of the drum. 



III. 



the 



lastly was with Curtis amc 

floating batt'ries. 
And there I left for witness an arm 

and a limb ; 



112 



THE JOLLY BEGGARS. 



Yet let my country need me, with 
Eliott to head me 
I 'd clatter on my stumps at the 
sound of the drum. 

IV. 

And now, tho' I must beg with a 
wooden arm and leg 
And many a tatter'd rag hanging 
over my bum, 
I 'm as happy with my wallet, my 
bottle, and my callet 
As when I us'd in scarlet to follow 
a drum. 



What tho' with hoary locks I must 
stand the winter shocks. 
Beneath the woods and rocks often- 
times for a home ? 
When the tother bag I sell, and the 
tother bottle tell, 
I could meet a troop of Hell at the 
sound of a drum. 

Lai de daudle, etc. 

RECITATIVO. 

He ended ; and the kebars sheuk 

Aboon the chorus roar ; 
While frighted rattons backward leuk, 

An' seek the benmost bore : 
A fairy fiddler frae the neuk, 

He skirFd out Encore I 
But up arose the martial chuck, 

An' laid the loud uproar : — 

AIR. 

Tune : Sodger Laddie, 

I. 

I once was a maid, tho' I cannot tell 

when. 
And still my delight is in proper 

young men. 
Some one of a troop of dragoons w^as 

my daddie : 



No wonder I 'm fond of a sodger 



laddie 



Sing, lal de dal, etc. 



'to 
II. 

The first of my loves was a swagger- 
ing blade : 

To rattle the thundering drum was 
his trade ; 

His leg was so tight, and his cheek 
was so ruddy. 

Transported I was with my sodger 
laddie. 

III. 

But the godly old chaplain left him 

in the lurch ; 
The sword I forsook for the sake of 

the church ; 
He risked the soul, and I ventured 

the body : 
'T was then I proved false to my 

sodger laddie. 

IV. 

Full soon I grew sick of my sanctified 

sot; 
The regiment at large for a husband 

I got; 
From the gilded spontoon to the fife 

I was ready : 
I asked no more but a sodger laddie. 

V. 

But the Peace it reduced me to beg in 
despair. 

Till I met my old boy in a Cunning- 
ham Fair ; 

His rags regimental they fluttered so 
gaudy : 

My heart it rejoic'd at a sodger 
laddie. 

VI. 

And now I have liv'd — I know not 

how long ! 
But still I can join in a cup and a 

song; 



THE JOLLY BEGGARS. 



113 



And whilst with both hands I can 

hold the glass steady, 
Here 's to thee, my hero, my sodger 

laddie ! 

Sing, lal de dal, etc. 

RECITATIVO. 

Poor Merry-Andrew in the neuk 

Sat guzzling wi' a tinkler-hizzie ; 
They mind't na wha the chorus teuk, 
Between themselves they were sae 

busy. 
At length, wi' drink an- courting 
dizzy, 
He stoiter'd up an' made a face ; 
Then turned an' laid a smack on 
Grizzle, 
Syne tun'd his pipes wi' grave grim- 
ace: — 

AIR. 

Tune : Atdd Sir Symon, 
I. 

Sir Wisdom 's a fool when he 's fou ; 

Sir Knave is a fool in a session : 
He 's there but a prentice I trow, 

But I am a fool by profession. 

II. 

My grannie she bought me a beuk, 
An' I held awa to the school : 

I fear I my talent misteuk, 

But what will ye hae of a fool ? 

III. 

For drink I wad venture my neck ; 

A hizzie 's the half of my craft : 
But W'hat could ye other expect 

Of ane that 's avowedly daft ? 

IV, 

I ance was tyed up like a stirk 

For civilly swearing and quaffing ; 

I ance was abus'd i' the kirk 
For towsing a lass i' my daffin. 



V. 



Poor Andrew that tumbles for sport 
Let naebody name wi' a jeer : 

There 's even, I 'm tauld, i' the Court 
A tumbler ca'd the Premier. 



VI. 



Observ'd ye yon reverend lad 
Mak faces to tickle the mob ? 

He rails at our mountebank squad — 
It 's rivalship just i' the job! 



VII. 



And now my conclusion I '11 tell, 
For faith ! I 'm confoundedly dry : 

The chiel that 's a fool for himsel, 
Guid Lord ! he's far dafter than L 



RECITATIVO. 

Then niest outspak a raucle carlin, 
Wha kent fu' weel to cleek the sterlin. 
For monie a pursie she had hooked, 
An' had in monie a well been douked. 
Her love had been a Highland laddie. 
But weary fa' the waefu' woodie ! 
Wi' sighs an' sobs she thus began 
To wail her braw John Highland- 
man: — 



AIR. 



Tune : O, An' Ye Were Dead, Giiidnian, 



A Highland lad my love was born. 
The lalland laws he held in scorn. 
But he still was faith fu' to his clan. 
My gallant, braw John Highlandman. 

Chorus. 

Sing hey my braw John Highlandman ! 
Sing ho my braw John Highlandman! 
There 's not a lad in a' the Ian' 
Was match for my John Highlandman! 



114 



THE JOLLY BEGGARS. 



II. 



With his philibeg, an^ tartan plaid, 
An' guid claymore down by his side, 
The ladies' hearts he did trepan, 
My gallant, braw John Highlandman. 



III. 



We ranged a' from Tweed to Spey, 
An' liv'd like lords an' ladies gay. 
For a lalland face he feared none, 
My gallant, braw John Highlandman 



IV. 



They banish'd him beyond the sea. 
But ere the bud was on the tree, 
Adown my cheeks the pearls ran. 
Embracing my John Highlandman. 



V. 



But, Och! they catch'd him at the last, 
And bound him in a dungeon fast. 
My curse upon them every one — 
They 've hang'd my braw John High- 
landman ! 

VI. 

And now a widow I must mourn 
The pleasures that will ne'er return ; 
No comfort but a hearty can 
When I think on John Highlandman. 

Chorus. 

Sing hey my braw John Highlandman! 
Sing ho my braw John Highlandman! 
There 's not a lad in a' the Ian' 
Was match for my John Highlandman ! 

RECITATIVO. 

I. 

A pigmy scraper on a fiddle, 

Wha us'd to trvstes an' fairs to drid- 

dle, 
Her strappin limb an' gawsie middle 

(He reached nae higher) 
Had hoFd his heartie like a riddle, 

An' blawn 't on fire. 



II. 

Wi' hand on hainch and upward e'e. 
He croon'd his gamut, one, two, three. 
Then in an arioso key 

The wee Apollo 
Set off wi' allegretto glee 

His giga solo : — 

AIR. 

Tune : Whistle Owre flie Lave O V. 

I. 

Let me ryke up to dight that tear ; 
An' go wi' me an' be my dear. 
An' then your every care an' fear 
May whistle owre the lave o 't. 

CJiorus. 

I am a fiddler to my trade. 
An' a' the tunes that e'er I play'd, 
The sweetest still to wife or maid 
Was IVhisik Owre the Lave O V. 



II. 

At kirns an' weddins we 'se be there. 
An' O, sae nicely 's we will fare ! 
■We *11 bowse about till Daddie Care 
Sing Whistle Oivre the Lave O't. 

III. 

Sae merrily the banes we '11 pyke. 
An' sun oursels about the dyke ; 
An' at our leisure, when ye like. 
We'll — whistle owre the lave o't! 

IV. 

But bless me wi' your heav'n o' charms, 
An' while I kittle hair on thairms. 
Hunger, cauld. an' a' sic harms 
May whistle owre the lave o 't. 

Chorus. 

I am a fiddler to my trade. 
An' a' the tunes that e'er I play'd. 
The sweetest still to wife or maid 
Was Whistle Owre the Lave O't. 



THE TOLLY BEGGARS. 



115 



RECITATR'O. 



Her charms had struck a sturdy caird 

As weel as poor gut-scraper ; 
He taks the tiddler by the beard, 

An' draws a roosty rapier : 
He swoor by a' was swearing worth 

To speet him like a pliver, 
L'nless he would from that time forth 

Relinquish her for ever. 

II. 

Wi^ ghastly e*e poor Tweedle-Dee 

Upon his hunkers bended. 
An' pray'd for grace wi" ruefu* face, 

An' sae the quarrel ended. 
But tho' his little heart did grieve 

When round the tinkler prest her. 
He feign'd to snirtle in his sleeve 

When thus the caird address'd 
her: — 

AIR. 
Tune: Clout the Cauldron, 
I. 

My bonie lass, I work in brass, 

A tinkler is my station : 
I Ve traveird round all Christian 
ground 

In this my occupation ; 
I 've taen the gold, an* been enrolled 

In many a noble squadron : 
But vain they search'd when off I 
march'd 

To go an' clout the cauldron. 

II. 

Despise that shrimp, that withered 
imp. 

With a' his noise an' cap'rin. 
An' take a share wi' those that bear 

The budget and the apron ! 
And by that stowp. my faith an' 
houpe I 

And by that dear Kilbaigie ! 
If e'er ye want, or meet wi' scant, 

May I ne'er weet my craigie! 



RECITATIVO. 

I. 

The caird prevail'd : th' unblushing 
fair 

In his embraces sunk. 
Partly wi' love overcome sae sair, 

An' partly she was drunk. 
Sir \'iolino, with an air 

That show'd a man o' spunk, 
Wish'd unison between the pair, 

An' made the bottle clunk 

To their health that night. 

II. 

But hurchin Cupid shot a shaft. 

That play'd a dame a shavie : 
The fiddler rak'd her fore and aft 

Behint the chicken cavie : 
Her lord, a wight of Homer's craft, 

Tho' limpin' wi' the spavie. 
He hirpl'd up. an" lap like daft. 

An* shor'd them ^ Dainty Davie ' 
O' boot that night. 

III. 

He was a care-defying blade 

As ever Bacchus listed ! 
Tho* Fortune sair upon him laid. 

His heart, she ever miss'd it. 
He had no wish but — to be glad. 

Nor want but — when he thristed. 
He hated nought but — to be sad ; 

An* thus the ^luse suggested 
His sang that night. 

AIR. 

Tune: For A That A?i' A' That. 
I. 

I am a Bard, of no regard 
Wi' gentle folks an' a' that. 

But Homer-like the glowrin byke, 
Frae town to town I draw that. 

Chorus. 

For a' that, an' a' that. 

An' twice as muckle 's a' that, 
I 've lost but ane, I 've twa behin', 

I 've wife eneugh for a' that. 



ii6 



THE JOLLY BEGGARS. 



II. 



I never drank the Muses' stank, 
Castalia's burn, an* a' that ; 

But there it streams, an' richly reams 
My Helicon I ca' that. 



III. 

Great love I bear to a' the fair. 
Their humble slave an' a' that ; 

But lordly will, I hold it still 
A mortal sin to thraw that. 

IV. 

In raptures sweet this hour we meet 
Wi' mutual love an' a' that ; 

But for how lang the flie may stang, 
Let inclination law that ! 



Their tricks an' craft hae put me daft, 
They 've taen me in, an' a' that ; 

But clear your decks, an' here's the 
Sex! 
I like the jads for a' that. 

Chorus, 

For a' that, an' a' that. 

An' twice as muckle 's a' that, 
My dearest bluid, to do them guid. 

They 're welcome till 't for a' that! 

RECITATIVO. 

So sung the Bard, and Nansie's wa's 
Shook with a thunder of applause, 

Re-echo'd from each mouth! 
They toom'd their pocks, they pawn'd 

their duds, 
They scarcely left to coor their fuds. 

To quench their lowin drouth. 
Then owre again the jovial thrang 

The Poet did request 
To lowse his pack, an' wale a sang, 
A ballad o' the best : 
He rising, rejoicing 

Between his twa Deborahs, 

Looks round him, an' found them 

Impatient for the chorus : — 



AIR. 

Tune : Jolly Mortals, Fill Your Glasses, 

I. 

See the smoking bowl before us! 

Mark our jovial, ragged ring! 
Round and round take up the chorus. 

And in raptures let us sing : 

Cho?'2is. 

A fig for those by law protected I 
Liberty 's a glorious feast. 

Courts for cowards were erected. 
Churches built to please the priest! 

II. 

What is title, what is treasure, 
What is reputation's care? 

If we lead a life of pleasure, 
'T is no matter how or where ! 

III. 

With the ready trick and fable 
Round we wander all the day ; 

And at night in barn or stable 
Hug our doxies on the hay. 

IV. 

Does the train-attended carriage 
Thro' the country lighter rove ? 

Does the sober bed of marriage 
Witness brio^hter scenes of love? 



Life is all a variorum, 

We regard not how it goes ; 

Let them prate about decorum, 
Who have character to lose. 

VI. 

Here's to budgets, bags, and wallets! 

Here's to all the wandering train! 
Here 's our ragged brats and callets ! 

One and all, cry out, Amen ! 

Chorus. 
A fig for those by law protected! 

Liberty 's a glorious feast. 
Courts for cowards were erected, 

Churches built to please the priest! 



THE TWA HERDS: OR, THE HOLY TULYIE. 



117 



SATIRES AND VERSES. 



THE TWA HERDS: OR. THE 1 Ye'll see how New Light herds wiD 
HOLY TULYIE. \ whistle, 

i An' think it fine! 

The Lord's cause o^at na sic a twistle 



AN UNXO MOURXFU TALE. 

Blockheads with reason wicked wits abhor ^ 
But fool with fool is barbarous civil war. 

—Pope. 

[•• This is one of the earliest of Burns's 
'priest-skelping turns.' The ferment of pop- 
ular hatred of John Knox (sometimes ex- 
pressed orally in his lifetime) at last informs 
a Scotch poem. Burns says, ' With a cer- 
tain description of the clergy as well as 
laity, it met with a roar of applause.' He 
did not publish it. The ' herds * were 
Mr. Moodie (of Riccarton) and Mr. John 
Russell (of Kilmarnock). The quarrel was 
about parish boundaries. The right of ' the 
brutes to choose their herds ' ought to 
have commended itself to a democrat; but 
Burns's politics were never consistent, and 
the ' New Lights ' were his personal friends." 
— Andrew Lang.] 



O a' ye pious godly flocks, 
Weel fed on pastures orthodox, 
W^ha now will keep you frae the fox 

Or worrying tykes ? 
Or wha will tent the waifs an* crocks 

About the dykes ? 



II. 

The twa best herds in a' the wast, 
That e^er gae gospel horn a blast 
These five an^ twenty simmers past — 

O. dool to tell ! — 
Hae had a bitter, black out-cast 

At ween themsel. 



III. 

O Moodie, man. an' wordy Russell, 
How could you raise so vile a bustle? 



Sin' I hae min\ 



IV. 



O Sirs ! whae'er wad hae expeckit 
Your duty ye wad sae negleckit '^, 
Ye wha were no by lairds respeckit 

To wear the plaid. 
But by the brutes themselves eleckit 

To be their guide ! 



What flock wi' Moodie's flock could 

rank, 
Sae hale an' hearty every shank? 
Nae poison'd, soor Arminian stank 

He let them taste ; 
But Calvin's fountainhead they 
drank — 

O, sic a feast ! 



VI. 



The thummart, wilcat, brock, an' tod 
Weel ken his voice thro' a' the wood ; 
He smell'd their ilka hole an' road, 

Baith out and in ; 
An' weel he lik'd to shed their bluid 

An' sell their skin. 



vn. 

What herd like Russell tell'd his 

tale ? 
His voice was heard thro' muir and 

dale ; 
He kend the Lord's sheep, ilka tail, 

O'er a' the height : 
An' tell'd gin they were sick or hale 
At the first sight. 



Hi 



THE TWA HERDS: OR, THE HOLY TULYIE. 



VIII. 

He fine a mangy sheep could scrub ; 
Or nobly swing the gospel club ; 
Or New-Light herds could nicely 
drub 

And pay their skin ; 
Or hing them o^er the burning dub 

Or heave them in. 



IX. 

Sic twa — O, do I live to see't ? — 
Sic famous twa sud disagree 't, 
An^ names like villain, hypocrite, 

Ilk ither gi'en. 
While New-Light herds wi' laughin 
spite 

Say neither 's liein! 



X. 

A' ye wha tent the gospel fauld. 
Thee Duncan deep, an' Peebles shauP, 
But chiefly great apostle Auld, 

We trust in thee, 
That thou wilt work them hot an' 
cauld 

Till they agree ! 



XI. 

Consider, sirs, how we Ve beset : 
There's scarce a new herd that we 

got 
But comes frae 'mang that cursed set 

I winna name : 
I hope frae heav'n to see them yet 

In fiery flame ! 



XII. 

Dalrymple has been lang our fae, 
M^Gill has wrought us meikle wae, 
An' that curs'd rascal ca'd M'Quhae, 

An' baith the Shaws, 
That aft hae made us black an' blae 

Wi' vengefu' paws. 



XIII. 

Auld Wodrow lang has hatch'd mis- 
chief : 
We thought ay death wad bring re- 
lief, 
But he has gotten to our grief 

Ane to succeed him, 
A chield wha '11 soundly buff our 
beef — 

I meikle dread him. 



XIV. 

An' monie mae that I could tell, 
Wha fain would openly rebel, 
Forby turn-coats amang oursel : 

There 's Smith for ane — 
I doubt he 's but a greyneck still, 

An' that ye '11 fin' ! 



XV. 

O a' ye flocks o'er a' the hills, 
By mosses, meadows, moors, an' fells, 
Come, join your counsel and your 
skills 

To cowe the lairds, 
An' get the brutes the power themsels 

To chuse their herds ! 



XVI. 

Then Orthodoxy yet may prance. 
An' Learning in a woody dance, 
An' that fell cur ca'd Common-sense, 

That bites sae sair. 
Be banish'd o'er the sea to France — 

Let him bark there ! 



XVII. 

Then Shaw's an' D'rymple's elo- 
quence, 
M^Gill's close, nervous excellence, 
M'Quhae's pathetic, manly sense. 

An' guid M^Math 
Wha thro' the heart can brawly glance, 
May a' pack aff" ! 



HOLY WILLIE'S PRAYER. 



119 



HOLY WILLIE'S PRAYER. 

And setid the godly in a pet to pray. 

— Pope. 



[" This attack on Calvinism dates be- 
tween August, 1784, when Hamilton was 
threatened with a form of excommunica- 
tion, and July, 1785, when the case ended 
(Scott Douglas). The Presbytery of Ayr 
freed him from ecclesiastical censure for 
the time. Later he was accused of having 
potatoes dug on Sunday. His own servants 
were brought as witnesses against him ! 
Burns, naturally, never included the poem 
among his works. Willie was William 
Fisher, an Elder in Mauchline. M. Angel- 
lier discovered that he was employed as a 
Presbyterian Inquisitor on Jean Armour's 
case. If he died in a ditch, after a debauch, 
as is said, Burns, too, is said, shortly before 
his death, 'to have fallen asleep on the 
snow, on his way home ' from ' a tavern 
dinner* (Lockhart). There is a similar 
story in the Legend of Shakspeare. 

"'The MSS. and printed copies differ in 
many places from each other. The com- 
mon text is that of Stewart's editions. The 
sixth verse first appears in that of 1802." — 
Andrew Lang.] 



O Thou that in the heavens does 

dwell, 
Wha, as it pleases best Thysel, 
Sends ane to Heaven an' ten to Hell 

A' for Thy glory, 
And no for onie guid or ill 

TheyVe done before Thee! 



II. 

I bless and praise Thy matchless 

might. 
When thousands Thou hast left in 

night, 
That I am here before Tliy sight, 

For gifts an' grace 
A burning and a shining light 
To a' this place. 



III. 

What was I, or my generation, 
That I should get sic exaltation ? 
I, wha deserved most just damnation 

For broken laws 
Sax thousand years ere my creation, 

Thro' Adam's cause ! 

TV. 

When from my mither's womb I fell, 
Thou might hae plung'd me deep in 

hell 
To gnash my gooms, and weep, and 
wail 

In burning lakes, 
Whare damned devils roar and yell. 
Chained to their stakes. 

V. 

Yet I am here, a chosen sample. 

To show Thy grace is great and 

ample : 
I 'm here a pillar o' Thy temple, 

Strong as a rock, 
A guide, a buckler, and example 

To a' Thy flock! 

VI. 

But yet, O Lord', confess I must: 
At times I 'm fash'd wi' fleshly lust ; 
An' sometimes, too, in warldly trust. 

Vile self gets in ; 
But Thou remembers we are dust. 

Defiled wi' sin. 

VII. 

O Lord ! yestreen, Thou kens, wi' 

Meg — 
Thy pardon I sincerely beg — 
O, may 't ne'er be a living plague 

To my dishonour! 
An' I '11 ne'er lift a lawless leg 

Again upon her. 

VIII. 

Besides, I farther maun avow — 
Wi' Leezie's lass, three times, I trow — 



I20 



THE KIRK'S ALARM. 



But, Lord, that Friday I was fou, 
When I cam near her, 

Or else, Thou kens. Thy servant true 
Wad never steer her. 

IX. 

Maybe thou lets this fleshly thorn 
Buffet thy servant e'en and morn, 
Lest he owre proud and high should 
turn 

That he 's sae gifted : 
If sae, Thy han' maun e'en be borne 

Until Thou lift it. 



Lord, bless Thy chosen in this place. 
For here Thou has a chosen race! 
But God confound their stubborn face 

An' blast their name, 
Wha bring Thy elders to disgrace 

An' open shame! 

XI. 

Lord, mind Gau'n Hamilton's deserts : 
He drinks, an' swears, an' plays at 

cartes, 
Yet has sae monie takin arts 

Wi' great and sma', 
Frae God's ain Priest the people's 
hearts 

He steals awa. 

XII. 

And when we chasten'd him therefore, 
Thou kens how he bred sic a splore, 
And set the warld in a roar 

O' laughin at us : 
Curse Thou his basket and his store. 

Kail an' potatoes! 

XIII. 

Lord, hear my earnest cry and pray'r 
Against that Presbyt'ry of Ayr! 
Thy strong right hand, Lord, mak it 
bare 

Upo' their heads ! 
Lord, visit them, an' dinna spare. 

For their misdeeds! 



XIV. 

O Lord, my God! that glib-tongu'd 

Aiken, 
My vera heart and flesh are quakin 
To think how we stood sweatin, 
shakin, 

An' pish'd wi' dread. 
While he, wi' hingin lip an' snakin, 
Held up his head. 



XV. 

Lord, in Thy day o' vengeance try him ! 
Lord, visit him wha did employ him! 
And pass not in Thy mercy by them, 

Nor hear their pray'r. 
But for Thy people's sake destroy them, 

An' dinna spare ! 



XVI. 

But, Lord, remember me and mine 
Wi' mercies temporal and divine. 
That I for grace an' gear may shine 

Excell'd by nane ; 
And a' the glory shall be Thine — 

Amen, Amen! 



THE KIRK'S ALARM. 

[The occasion of this satire was the pub- 
lication of an essay on " The Death of Jesus 
Christ," by Dr. WilHam M'Gill, one of the 
ministers of Ayr. A complaint against the 
essay, as being heterodox, was presented on 
April 15 to the Synod of Glasgow and Ayr. 
The synod referred the case to the Pres- 
bytery of Ayr. The matter was finally 
compromised by M'Gill's offering an ex- 
planation and apology, which the synod ac- 
cepted. M'Gill died March 30, 1807.] 



Orthodox! orthodox! — 
Wha believe in John Knox — 
Let me sound an alarm to your con- 
science : 
A heretic blast 
Has been blawn i' the Wast, 



THE KIRK'S ALARM. 



121 



That what is not sense must be non- 
sense — 

Orthodox! 

That what is not sense must be non- 
sense. 

II. 

Dr. Mac! Dr. Mac! 

You should stretch on a rack, 
I'o strike wicked Writers wi' terror : 

To join faith and sense, 

Upon onie pretence, 
Was heretic, damnable error — 

Dr. Mac! 
'T was heretic, damnable error. 

III. 

Town of Ayr ! Town of Ayr ! 

It was rash, I declare, 
To meddle wi' mischief a-brewing : 

Provost John is still deaf 

To the church's relief, 
And Orator Bob is its ruin — 

Town of Ayr ! 
And Orator Bob is its ruin. 

IV. 

D'rymple mild ! D'rymple mild ! 
Tho' your heart 's hke a child. 
An' your life like the new-driven 
snaw, 
Yet that winna save ye : 
Auld Satan must have ye. 
For preaching that three's ane and 
twa — 

DVymple mild ! 
For preaching that three's ane and 
twa. 

V. 

Calvin's sons! Calvin's sons! 
Seize your spiritual guns, 
Ammunition you never can need : 
Your hearts are the stuff 
Will be powther enough. 
And your skulls are store-houses o' 
lead — 

Calvin's sons! 
Your skulls are store-houses o' lead. 



VI. 

Rumble John! Rumble John! 
Mount the steps with a groan, 
Cry : — ' The book is wi' heresy 
cramm'd ' ; 
Then lug out your ladle, 
Deal brimstone like adle. 
And roar every note o' the damn'd — 

Rumble John! 
And roar every note o' the damn'd. 

VII. 

Simper James! Simper James! 
Leave the fair Killie dames — 
There 's a holier chase in your view : 
I '11 lay on your head 
That the pack ye '11 soon lead, 
For puppies like you there's but 
few — 

Simper James! 
For puppies like you there's but 
few. 

VIII. 

Singet Sawnie! Singet Sawnie! 
Are ye herding the penny, 
Unconscious what evils await? 
Wi' a jump, yell, and howl 
Alarm every soul, 
For the Foul Thief is just at your 
gate — 

Singet Sawnie ! 
The Foul Thief is just at your gate. 

IX. 

Daddie Auld ! Daddie Auld ! 

There 's a tod in the fauld, 
A tod meikle waur than the clerk : 

Tho' ye can do little skaith, 

Ye '11 be in at the death, 
And gif ye canna bite, ye may bark — 

Daddie Auld ! 
For gif ye canna bite ye may bark. 

X. 

Davie Rant! Davie Rant! 
In a face like a saunt 



122 



THE KIRK'S ALARM. 



And a heart that would poison a hog, 
Raise an impudent roar. 
Like a breaker lee-shore, 

Or the Kirk will be tint in a bog 
Davie Rant ! 

Or the Kirk will be tint in a bos:. 



XI. 

Jamie Goose ! Jamie Goose ! 
Ye hae made but toom roose 
In hunting the wicked lieutenant ; 
But the Doctor 's your mark, 
For the Lord's haly ark, 
He has cooper'd, and ca'd a wrang 
pin in 't — 

Jamie Goose! 
He has cooper'd and caM a wTang 
pin in 't. 

XII. 

Poet Willie ! Poet Willie ! 
Gie the Doctor a volley, 
Wi' your ' Liberty's chain ' and your 
wit : 
O'er Pegasus' side 
Ye ne'er laid a stride, 
Ye but smelt, man, the place where 
he shit — 

Poet Willie ! 
Ye smelt but the place w^here he 
shit. 

XIII. 

Andro' Gowk ! Andro Gowk ! 
Ye may slander the Book, 
And the Book not the waur, let me 
tell ye : 
Ye are rich, and look big. 
But lay by hat and wig. 
And ye '11 hae a calfs head o' sma' 
value — 

Andro Gowk ! 
Ye '11 hae a calf's head o' sma' value. 

XIV. 

Barr Steenie! Barr Steenie! 
What mean ye? what mean ye? 
If ye '11 meddle nae mair wi'' the 
matter. 



Ye may hae some pretence 

To havins and sense 
Wi' people wha ken ye nae better — 

Barr Steenie! 
Wi' people wha ken ye nae better. 

XV. 

Irvine-side ! Irvine-side! 

Wi' your turkey-cock pride. 
Of manhood but sma' is your share : 

Ye 've the figure, 't is true, 

Even your faes will allow, 
And your friends daurna say ye hae 

mair — 

Irvine-side ! 
Your friends daurna say ye hae mair. 

XVI. 

Muirland Jock ! Muirland Jock ! 

Whom the Lord gave a stock 
Wad set up a tinkler in brass. 

If ill manners were wit. 

There 's no mortal so fit 
To prove the poor Doctor an ass — 

Muirland Jock! 
To prove the poor Doctor an ass. 

XVII. 

Holy Will ! Holy Will ! 

There was wit i' your skull. 
When ye pilfer'd the alms o' the 
poor: 

The timmer is scant, 

When ye 're taen for a saunt 
Wha should swing in a rape for an 

hour — 

Holy Will! 
Ye should swing in a rape for an hour. 

XVIII. 

Poet Burns ! Poet Burns ! 
Wi' your priest-skelping turns. 
Why desert ye yourauld native shire? 
Your Muse is a gipsy, 
Yet were she ev'n tipsy, 
She could ca' us nae waur than we 
are — 

Poet Burns ! 
Ye could ca' us nae waur than we are. 



A POET'S WELCOME TO HIS LOVE-BEGOT 1 EN DAUGHTER. 123 



Postscripts 



I. 



Afton's Laird ! Afton's Laird ! 
When your pen can be spared, 
A copy of this I bequeath, 
On the same sicker score 
As I mentioned before, 
To that trusty auld worthy, Clack- 
leith — 

Afton's Laird! 
To that trusty auld worthy, Clackleith. 

II. 

Factor John ! Factor John ! 

Whom the Lord made alone, 
And ne'er made another thy peer, 

Thy poor servant, the Bard, 

In respectful regard 
He presents thee this token sincere — 

Factor John ! 
He presents thee this token sincere. 



A POET'S WELCOME TO HIS 
LOVE-BEGOTTEN DAUGHTER. 

the first instance that entitled 
him to the venerable appella- 
tion of father. 

[The " wean " of this generous and de- 
lightful Address was the poet's daughter 
Elizabeth, by Elizabeth Paton, for some 
time a servant at Lochlie. The child was 
born in November, 1784. She was brought 
by her father to Mossgiel. She married 
John Bishop, overseer at Polkemmet, and 
died 8th January, 1817, leaving several 
children.] 

I. 

Thou's welcome, wean! Mishanter 

fa' me, 
If thoughts o' thee or yet thy mammie 
Shall ever daunton me or awe me, 

My sw^eet, wee lady, 
Or if I blush when thou shalt ca' me 

Tyta or daddie ! 



11. 

What tho' they ca' me fornicator, 
An' tease my name in kintra clatter? 
The mair they talk, I 'm kend the 
better ; 

E'en let them clash ! 
An' auld wife's tongue's a feckless 
matter 

To gie ane fash. 



III. 

Welcome, my bonie, sweet, wee doch- 

ter! 
Tho' ye come here a wee unsought 

for, 
And tho' your com in I hae fought for 

Baith kirk and queir ; 
Yet, by my faith, ye 're no unwrought 
for — 

That I shall swear ! 



IV. 

Sweet fruit o' monie a merry dint. 

My funny toil is no a' tint : 

Tho' thou cam to the warl' asklent. 

Which fools may scoff at, 
In my last plack thy part 's be in 't 

The better half o 't. 



V. 

Tho' I should be the w^aur bestead. 
Thou 's be as braw and bienly clad. 
And thy young years as nicely bred 

Wi' education. 
As onie brat o' wedlock's bed 

In a' thy station. 



VI. 

Wee image o' my bonie Betty, 
As fatherly I kiss and daut thee, 
As dear and near my heart I set 
thee, 

Wi' as guid will. 
As a' the priests had seen me get 
thee 

That 's out o' Hell. 



124 



THE INVENTORY. 



VII. 

Gude grant that thou may ay inherit 
Thy mither's looks an' gracefu' merit, 
An' thy poor, worthless daddie^s spirit 

Without his failins ! 
'T will please me mair to see thee 
heir it 

Than stocket mailins. 

VIII. 

And if thou be what I wad hae thee, 
An' tak the counsel I shall gie thee, 
I '11 never rue my trouble wi' thee — 

The cost nor shame o 't — 
But be a loving father to thee, 

And brag the name o 't. 



THE INVENTORY. 

IN ANSWER TO A MANDATE BY THE 
SURVEYOR OF TAXES. 

[The " Inventory " was addressed to Mr. 
Robert Aiken, of Ayr, surveyor of taxes for 
the district.] 

Sir, as your mandate did request, 
I send you here a faithfu' list 
O' guids and gear an' a' my graith. 
To which I 'm clear to gie my aith. 

Imprimis^ then, for carriage cat- 
tle : — 
I hae four brutes o' gallant mettle 
As ever drew before a pettle : 
My lan'-afore's a guid auld ^has 

been,' 
An' wdght an' wilfu' a' his days 

been. 
My lan'-ahin 's a weel-gaun fillie. 
That aft has borne me hame frae 

KiUie, 
An' your auld borough monie a time 
In days when riding was nae crime. 
(But ance, when in my wooing pride 
I, like a blockhead, boost to ride. 
The wilfu' creature sae I pat to — 



Lord, pardon a' my sins, an' that 

too! — 
I play'd my fillie sic a shavie, 
She's a' bedevil'd wi' the spavie.) 
My fur-ahin 's a wordy beast 
As e'er in tug or tow was traced. 
The fourth's a Highland Donald 

hastie, 
A damn'd red-wud Kilburnie blastie! 
Foreby, a cowte, o' cowtes the wale, 
As ever ran afore a tail : 
If he be spared to be a beast, 
He '11 draw me fifteen pund at least. 

Wheel-carriages I hae but few : 
Three carts, an' twa are feckly new ; 
An auld wheelbarrow — mair for 

token, 
Ae leg an' baith the trams are 

broken : 
I made a poker o' the spin'le. 
An' my auld mither brunt the trin'le. 

For men, I 've three mischievous 

boys, 
Run-deils for fechtin an' for noise : 
A gauds man ane, a thrasher t' other, 
Wee Davoc hands the nowte in 

fother. 
I rule them, as I ought, discreetly, 
An' aften labour them completely ; 
An' ay on Sundays duly, nightly, 
I on the Questions tairge them 

tightly : 
Till, faith! wee Davoc 's grown sae 

Tho' scarcely langer than your leg, 
He 11 screed you aff ^ Effectual Call- 

As fast as onie in the dwalling. 

I 've nane in female servan' station 
(Lord keep me ay frae a' tempta- 
tion!) : 
I hae nae wife — and that my bliss 

is — 
An' ye hae laid nae tax on misses ; 
An' then, if kirk folks dinna clutch me, 
I ken the deevils darena touch me. 



A MAUCHLINE WEDDING. 



125 



Wi' weans I 'm mair than weel con- 
tented : 
Heav'n sent me ane mair than I 

wanted ! 
My sonsie^ smirking, dear-bought 

Bess, 
She stares the daddie in her face, 
Enough of ought ye Uke but grace : 
But her, my bonie, sweet wee lady, 
I Ve paid enough for her already ; 
An^ gin ye tax her or her mither, * 
By the Lord, ye 'se get them a' the- 
gither ! 

But pray, remember, Mr. Aiken, 
Nae kind of licence out I 'm takin : 
Frae this time- forth, I do declare 
I 'se ne'er ride horse nor hizzie mair ; 
Thro' dirt and dub for life I '11 paidle. 
Ere I sae dear pay for a saddle ; 
I 've sturdy stumps, the Lord be 

thankit. 
And a' my gates on foot I '11 shank it. 
The Kirk and you may tak' you that. 
It puts but little in your pat : 
Sae dinna put me in your beuk. 
Nor for my ten white shilHngs leuk. 

This list, wi' my ain hand I Ve 
wrote it. 
The day and date as under notit ; 
Then know all ye whom it concerns, 
Siibscripsi huic^ Robert Burns. 



A MAUCHLINE WEDDING. 

[This good-natured squib was enclosed 
in a letter to Mrs. Dunlop, Aug. 21, 1788, 
and was published for the first time in the 
" Centenary " Burns, from the Lochryan 
Mss.] 



When Eighty-five was seven months 
auld 

And wearing thro' the aught. 
When rolling rains and Boreas bauld 

Gied farmer-folks a faugh t ; 



Ae morning quondam Mason W . . ., 
Now Merchant Master Miller, 

Gaed down to meet wi' Nansie B . . ., 
And her Jamaica siller 

To wed, that day. 

II. 

The rising sun o'er Blacksideen 

Was just appearing fairly. 
When Nell and Bess got up to dress 

Seven lang half-hours o'er early ! 
Now presses clink, and drawers jink, 

For linens and for laces : 
But modest Muses only think 

What ladies' underdress is 
On sic a day! 

III. 

But we '11 suppose the stays are lacM, 

And bonie bosoms steekit, 
Tho' thro' the lawn — but guess the 
rest! 
An angel scarce durst keek it. 
Then stockins fine o' silken twine 
Wi' cannie care are drawn up ; 
An' garten'd tight whare mortal 
wight — 



As I never wrote it down my recollection 
does not entirely serve me. 

IV. 

But now the gown wi' rustling sound 

Its silken pomp displays ; 
Sure there 's nae sin in being vain 

O' siccan bonie claes! 
Sae jimp the waist, the tail sae vast — ■ 

Trouth, they were bonie birdies ! 
O Mither Eve, ye wad been grieve 

To see their ample hurdles 
Sae large that day! 

V. 

Then Sandy, wi 's red jacket braw, 
Comes whip-jee-woa! about. 

And in he gets the bonie twa — 
Lord, send them safely out! 



126 ADAM ARMOUR'S PRAYER. — THE COURT OF EQUITY. 



And auld John Trot wP sober phiz, 
As braid and braw 's a Bailie, 

His shouthers and his Sunday's jiz 
Wi' powther and wV ulzie 

WeelsmearM that day. . . 



ADAM ARMOUR'S PRAYER. 

[The interlocutor in this intercession was 
Burns's brother-in-law, who was concerned 
in a piece of rustic lynch-law.] 

I. 

GuDE pity me, because I 'm little! 
For though I am an elf o' mettle, 
And can like onie wabster's shuttle 

Jink there or here, 
Yet, scarce as lang 's a guid kail-whittle, 

I 'm unco queer. 

II. 

An' now Thou kens our woefu' case : 
For Geordie's jurr we 're in disgrace. 
Because we stang'd her througli the 
place. 

An' hurt her spleuchan ; 
For wdiilk we daurna show our face 

Within the clachan. 

III. 

An' now we're dern'd in dens and 

hollows. 
And hunted, as was William Wallace, 
Wi' constables — the blackguard fal- 
lows — 

An' sodgers baith ; 
But Gude preserve us frae the gallows, 
That shamefu' death ! 

IV. 

Auld, grim, black-bearded Geordie's 

seP — 
O, shake him owre the mouth o' Hell! 
There let hinr hing, an* roar, an' yell 

Wi' hideous din. 
And if he offers to rebel, 

Then heave him in! 



V. 

When Death comes in wi' glimmerin 

blink. 
An' tips auld drucken Nanse the wink. 
May Sautan gie her doup a clink 

Within his yett. 
An' fill her up wi' brimstone drink 

Red-reekin het. 



VI. 

Though Jock an' hav'rel Jean are 

merry. 
Some devil seize them in a hurry. 
An' waft them in th' infernal wherry 
Straught through the lake, 
An' gie their hides a noble curry 
Wi'oil ofaik! 



VII. 

As for the jurr — puir worthless 

body! — 
She 's got mischief enough already ; 
Wi' stanget hips and buttocks bluidy 

She 's suffer'd sair ; 
But may she wintle in a woody 
If she whore mair! 



THE COURT OF EQUITY. 

AS PRINTED IN AITKEN's ALDINE 
EDITION, 1893. 

[" ' The Court of Equity ' was dated 
' Mauchline, 12th May, 1786/ and probably 
written in the previous year, in which Burns 
chronicled certain of the doings of the 
bachelors who were in the habit of meeting 
in the Whitefoord Arms. They constituted 
themselves into a mock Court — Burns 
being president, Smith fiscal, and Rich- 
mond clerk — to examine into the 'scan- 
dals' in Mauchline, and, in particular, to 
bring to book ' marauders,' or offenders 
against ordinary sexual morality, who sought 
by various means to escape the penalty of 
their offences. It is full of humanity and 
tenderness, but [parts of it are] too ' broad ' 



THE COURT OF EQUITY. 



127 



for publication." — CHAMBERS, revised by 
William Wallace.] 

In Truth and Honor's name. Amen. 
Know all men by these presents plain, 
This twalt o^ ' May at Mauchline 

given ; 
The year 'tween eighty-live an* seven ; 
We (all marauders) by profession, 
As per extractum from each Session ; 
In way and manner here narrated, 
Pro bono At)ior congregated ; 
And by our Brethren constituted, 
A Court of Equity deputed : 
With special authorisM direction, 
To take beneath our strict protection 
The stays out-bursting, quondam 

maiden, 
With growing life and anguish laden. 
That by the rascal is deny'd 
Who led her thoughtless steps aside ; 
He who disowms the ruin'd fair one, 
And for her wants and woes does 

care none ; 
The wretch that can refuse assistance 
To those whom he has given exist- 
ence ; 
The knave who takes a private stroke 
Beneath his sanctimonious cloak ! 
The coof who stan's on clishma- 

clavers 
When lasses hafflins offer favors ; 
All who in any way or manner 
Distain the (bold marauder's) honor, 
We take cognizance there anent. 
The proper judges competent 
First, Poet Burns, he takes the Chair ; 
Allowed by a\ his title's fair ; 
And past nejn. con. without dissen- 
sion. 
He has a duplicate pretension. 
The second, Smith, our worthy Fiscal, 
To cow each pertinacious rascal : 
In this, as ev'ry other state. 
His merit is conspicuous great. 
Richmond, the third, our trusty Clerk, 
Our minutes regular to mark ; 
And sit dispenser of the law 
In absence of the former twa. 
The fourth our messenger-at-arms. 



When failing all the milder terms, 
Hunter, a hearty, willing Brother, 
Weel skiird in dead anMiving leather. 
Without preamble, less or more said, 
We body politic aforesaid. 
With legal, due whereas, and where- 
fore. 
We are appointed here to care for 
The interests of our Constituents, 
And punish contravening truants, 

* * 5f= * * * 

Then Brown an' Dow above-design'd 
For clags an' clauses there subjoin'd. 
We, Court aforesaid, cite and sum- 
mon. 
That on the fourth o' June in comin', 
The hour o' Cause, in our Court ha' 
At Whitefoord's Arms, ye answer 

Law. 
But, as reluctantly we punish, 
An' rather mildly would admonish : 
Since better punishment prevented 
Than obstinacy sair repented ; 
Then, for that ancient secret's sake 
You have the honor to partake ; 
An' for that noble badge you wear. 
You, Sandie Dow, our Brother dear. 
We give you as a man and mason. 
This private, sober, friendly lesson. 
Your crime, a manly deed we view it. 
A man alone can only do it ; 
But, in denial persevering. 
Is to a scoundrel's name adherinsr. 



To tell the truth 's a manly lesson. 
An' doubly proper in a Mason. 

****** 

This, oViX fntiimni est Decreet^ 
We mean it not to keep a secret ; 
But in our summons here insert it, 
And whoso dares may controvert it. 
This mark'd before the date and 

place is ; 
Subsignuj/i est per Burns the Preses. 
• (L. S.) B . . . 
This summons and the ^Signet mark 
Extractum est, per Richmond, Clerk, 

R . . . d. 



J28 



NATURES LAW. 



At Mauchline, twenty-fifth of May, 
About the twalt hour o' the day, 
You tvva, in propria persona^ 
Before design'd Sandie and Johnnie, 
This summons legally have got, 
As vide Witness under-wrote ; 
Within the house of John Dove, 

Vintner, 
Nunc facio hoc — Guillelmus Hunter. 



NATURE'S LAW. 

HUMBLY INSCRIBED TO GAVIN HAM- 
ILTON, ESQUIRE. 

Great Nature spoke, observant ?nafi obeyed. 

Pope. 

[The day celebrated here is Sept. 3, 1786. 
On the 8th of that month Burns wrote: 
" You will have heard that poor Armour 
has repaid my amorous mortgage double. 
A very fine boy and a girl have awakened 
a thought and feelings that thrill, some with 
tender pressure, and some with foreboding 
anguish, through my soul."] 

I. 

Let other heroes boast their scars, 

The marks o' sturt and strife, 
But other poets sing of wars, 

The plagues o' human life! 
Shame fa^ the fun : wi' sword and 
gun 

To slap mankind like lumber ! 
I sing his name and nobler fame 

Wha multiplies our number. 



II. 

Great Nature spoke, with air be- 
nign : — 

' Go on, ye human race ; 
This lower world I you resign ; 

Be fruitful and increase. 
The liquid fire of strong desire, 

I 've poured it in each bosom ; 



Here on this hand does mankind 
stand, 
And there, is Beauty's blossom ! ' 



III. 

The hero of these artless strains, 

A lowly Bard was he, 
Who sung his rhymes in Coila's plains 

With meikle mirth and glee : 
Kind Nature's care had given his 
share 

Large of the flaming current ; 
And, all devout, he never sought 

To stem the sacred torrent. 



IV. 

He felt the powerful, high behest 

Thrill vital thro' and thro' ; 
And sought a correspondent breast 

To give obedience due. 
Propitious Powers screened the young 
flowVs 

From mildews of abortion ; 
And lo ! the Bard — a great reward — 

Has got a double portion ! 



V. 

Auld cantie Coil may count the day, 

As annual it returns, 
The third of Libra's equal sw^ay. 

That gave another Burns, 
With future rhymes an' other times 

To emulate his sire. 
To sing auld Coil in nobler style 

With more poetic fire ! 



VI. 

Ye Powers of peace and peaceful song. 

Look down with gracious eyes, 
And bless auld Coila large and long 

With multiplying joys! 
Lang may she stand to prop the land. 

The flowT of ancient nations. 
And Burnses spring her fame to sing 

To endless generations! 



ON MEETING WITH LORD DAER. — TO THE TOOTHACHE. 129 



LINES ON MEETING WITH 
LORD DAER. 

[Basil William, Lord Daer, son of the 
Earl of Selkirk, whom Burns met at Profes- 
sor Dugald Stewart's villa, at Catrine.] 



This wot ye all whom it concerns ; 
I, Rhymer Rab, alias Burns, 

October twenty-third, 
A ne'er-to-be-forgotten day, 
Sae far I sprachPd up the brae 

I dinner'd wi' a Lord. 

II. 

I Ve been at drucken Writers' feasts, 
Nay, been bitch-fou 'mang godly 
Priests — 
Wi' rev'rence be it spoken! — 
I Ve even join'd the honor'd jomm, 
When mighty Squireships o' the Quo- 
rum 
Their hydra drouth did sloken. 

III. 

But wi' a Lord! — stand out my shin! 
A Lord, a Peer, an Earl's son! — 

Up higher yet my bonnet! 
An' sic a Lord! — lang Scotch ell twa 
Our Peerage he looks o'er them a'. 

As I look o'er my sonnet. 

IV. 

But O, for Hogarth's magic pow'r 
To show Sir Bardie's willyart glow'r, 
An' how he star'd an' stam- 
merd, 
W^ien, goavin's he'd been led wi' 

branks, 
An' stumpin on his ploughman shanks. 
He in the parlour hammer'd! 



To meet good Stewart little pain is, 
Or Scotia's sacred Demosthenes : 

Thinks I : * They are but men '! 

K 



But * Burns ' ! — ' My Lord ' ! — Good 

God! I doited. 
My knees on ane anither knoited 
As faultering I gaed ben. 



VI. 

I sidling shelter'd in a neuk, 
An' at his Lordship staw a leuk. 

Like some portentous omen : 
Except good sense and social glee 
An' (what surpris'd me) modesty, 

I marked nought uncommon. 



VII. 

I watch'd the symptoms o' the Great — 
The gentle pride, the lordly state. 

The arrogant assuming : 
The fient a pride, nae pride had he. 
Nor sauce, nor state, that I could see, 

Mair than an honest plough- 
man! 

VIII. 

Then from his Lordship I shall learn 
Henceforth to meet with unconcern 

One rank as well 's another ; 
Nae honest, worthy man need care 
To meet with noble youthfu' Daer, 

For he but meets a brother. 



ADDRESS TO THE TOOTH- 
ACHE. 

[Burns in later letters specially refers to 
this " Hell o' a' diseases," but he probably 
suffered from it at different periods. Pub- 
lished, October, 1797.] 



My curse upon your venom'd stang, 
That shoots my tortur'd gooms alang, 
An' thro' my lug gies monie a twang 

Wi' gnawing vengeance. 
Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang. 

Like racking engines! 



I30 



LAMENT FOR THE ABSENCE OF WILLIAM CREECH. 



II. 



A' down my beard the slavers trickle, 
i throw the wee stools o'er the mickle, 
While round the fire the giglets keckle 

To see me loup, 
An\ raving mad, I wish a heckle 

Were i' their doup! 



III. 



When fevers burn, or ague freezes. 
Rheumatics gnaw, or colic squeezes, 
Our neebors sympathise to ease us • 

Wi' pitying moan ; 
But thee! — thou hell o' a' diseases, 

They mock our groan! 



IV. 

Of a' the num'rous human dools — 
Ill-hairsts, daft bargains, cutty-stools, 
Or worthy frien's laid i' the mools, 

Sad sight to see! 
The tricks o' knaves, or fash o' fools — 

Thou bear'st the gree! 



Whare'er that place be priests ca' 

Hell, 
Whare a' the tones o' misery yell. 
An' ranked plagues their numbers 
•tell 

In dreadfu' raw. 
Thou, Toothache, surely bear'st the 
bell 

Amang them a'! 



VI. 



O thou grim, mischief-making chiel. 
That gars the notes o' discord squeel. 
Till humankind aft dance a reel 

In gore a shoe-thick, 
Gie a' the faes o' Scotland's weal 

A towmond's toothache. 



LAMENT FOR THE ABSENCE 
OF WILLIAM CREECH, PUB- 
LISHER. 

[In enclosing these verses to Mr. Creech, 
Burns writes : " The enclosed I have just 
wrote, nearly extempore, in a solitary inn 
in Selkirk, after a miserable wet day's 
riding."] 

I. 

AuLD chuckle Reekie's sair distrest, 
Down droops her ance weel burnished 

crest, 
Nae joy her bonie buskit nest 

Can yield ava : 
Her darling bird that she lo^es best, 
Willie, 's awa. 



II. 

O, Willie was a witty wight, 
And had o' things an unco sleight! 
Auld Reekie ay he keepit tight, 
And trig an^ braw ; 
But now they 11 busk her like a 
fright — 

Willie's awa! 



III. 

The stiffest o** them a' he bowM ; 
The bauldest o' them a' he cow'd ; 
They durst nae mair than he allow'd — 

That was a law : 
We 've lost a birkie weel worth gow^d — 
Willie's awa! 



IV. 

Now gawkiesj tawpies, gowks, and 

fools 
Frae colleges and boarding schools 
May sprout like simmer puddock- 
stools 

In glen or shaw : 
He wha could brush them down to 
mools, 

Willie, 's awa! 



VERSES IN FRIARS CARSE HERMITAGE. 



131 



The brethren o' the Commerce-Chau- 

mer 
May mourn their loss wi' doolfu' 

clamour : 
He was a dictionar and grammar 

Amang them a\ 
I fear they'll now mak monie a stam- 
mer: 

Willie 's awa ! 



VI. 

Nae mair we see his levee door 
Philosophers and Poets pour, 
And toothy Critics by the score 

In bloody raw : 
The adjutant of a' the core, 

Willie, 's awa! 
« 

VII. 

Now worthy Gregory's Latin face. 
Tytler's and Greenfield's modest 

grace, 
IVPKenzie, Stewart, such a brace 

As Rome ne'er saw, 
They a' maun meet some ither place — 
Willie 's awa ! 

VIII. 

Poor Burns ev'n ' Scotch Drink ' can- 

na quicken : 
He cheeps like some bewilder'd 

chicken 
ScarM frae its minnie and the cleckin 

By hoodie-craw. 
Grief's gien his heart an unco kickin — 
Willie's awa! 



IX. 

Now evVy sour-mou'd, girnin blel- 

lum, 

And Calvin's folk, are fit to fell him ; I 

Ilk self-conceited critic-skellum | 

His quill may draw : i 

He wha could brawlie ward their 

bellum, I 

Willie, ^s awa! | 



X. 

Up wimpling, stately Tweed I Ve 

sped. 
And Eden scenes on crystal Jed, 
And Ettrick banks, now roaring red 

While tempests blaw ; 
But every joy and pleasure 's fled :. 
Willie ^s awa! 

XI. 

May I be Slander's common speech, 
A text for Infamy to preach, 
And, lastly, streekit out to bleach 

In winter snaw. 
When I forget thee. Willie Creech, 
Tho' far awa? 

XII. 

May never wicked Fortune touzle 

him. 
May never wicked men bamboozle 

him. 
Until a pow as auld 's Methusalem 

He canty claw! 
Then to the blessed new Jerusalem 
Fleet-wing awa I 



VERSES IN FRIARS CARSE 
HERMITAGE. 

[Friars Carse was the estate of Captain 
Riddell, of Glenriddell, beautifully situated 
on the banks of the Nith, near Ellisland. 
The Hermitage was a decorated cottage 
which the proprietor had erected.] 

Thou whom chance may hither lead. 
Be thou clad in russet weed, 
Be thou deckt in silken stole. 
Grave these maxims on thy soul : — 

Life is but a day at most. 
Sprung from night in darkness lost ; 
Hope not sunshine every hour. 
Fear not clouds will always lour. 
Happiness is but a name. 
Make content and ease thy aim. 
Ambition is a meteor-gleam ; 



X32 



ELEGY ON THE DEPARTED YEAR. — CASTLE GORDON. 



Fame a restless airy dream ; 
Pleasures, insects on the wing 
Round Peace, th' tend'rest flow'r of 

spring ; 
Those that sip the dew alone — 
Make the butterflies thy own ; 
Those that would the bloom devour — 
Crush the locusts^ save the flower. 
For the future be prepar'd : 
Guard wherever thou can'st guard ; 
But, thy utmost duly done. 
Welcome what thou can'st not shun. 
FolHes past give thou to air — 
Make their consequence thy care. 
Keep the name of Man in mind. 
And dishonour not thy kind. 
Reverence with lowly heart 
Him, whose wondrous work thou art ; 
Keep His Goodness still in view — 
Thy trust, and thy example too. 

Stranger, go! Heaven be thy guide! 
Quod the Beadsman on Nidside. 



ELEGY ON THE DEPARTED 
YEAR 1788. 

[On the same day that Burns composed 
this, he penned a beautiful letter to Mrs. 
Dunlop, which has been much admired. 
Printed in " The Courant," 1789.] 

For lords or kings I dinna mourn ; 
E'en let them die — for that they're 

born ; 
But O, prodigious to reflect, 
A Towmont, sirs, is gane to wreck! 
O Eighty-Eight, in thy sma^ space 
What dire events hae taken place! 
Of what enjoyments thou hast reft us! 
In what a pickle thou hast left us! 

The Spanish empire's tint a head, 
An' my auld teeth less Bawtie 's dead ; 
The tulyie's teugh 'tween Pitt and Fox, 
An' our guidwife's wee birdie cocks : 
The tane is g:ame, a bluidie devil. 
But to the hen-birds unco civil ; 



The tither 's dour — has nae sic 

breedin. 
But better stuff ne'er claw'd a midden. 

Ye ministers, come mount the poupit, 
An' cry till ye be haerse an' roupet, 
For Eighty-Eight, he wished you weel, 
An' gied ye a' baith gear an' meal : 
E'en monie a plack and monie a peck, 
Ye ken yoursels, for little feck! 

Ye bonie lasses, dight your een. 
For some o' you hae tint a frien' : 
In Eighty-Eight, ye ken, was taen 
What ye '11 ne'er hae to gie again. 

Observe the vera nowte an' sheep, 
How dowff an' dowilie they creep! 
Nay, evei\ the yirth itsel does cry. 
For Embro' wells are grutten dry! 

O Eighty-Nine, thou's but a bairn. 
An' no owre auld, I hope, to learn ! 
Thou beardless boy, I pray tak care, 
Thou now has got thy Daddie's chair : 
Nae hand-cuif 'd, mizzl'd, half-shackl'd 

Regent, 
But, like himsel, a full free agent. 
Be sure ye follow out the plan 
Nae waur than he did, honest man! 
As muckle better as ye can. 

Janua)y i, 1789. 



CASTLE GORDON. 

[Burns was introduced to the Duchess of 
Gordon in Edinburgh (1786-87) ; and dur- 
ing his northern tour in 1787 he called at 
Gordon Castle on Sept. 7.] 

I. 

Streams that glide in Orient plains. 
Never bound by Winter's chains ; 

Glowing here on golden sands, 
There immixed with foulest stains 

From tyranny's empurpled hands ; 
These, their richly gleaming waves, 



THE DUCHESS OF GORDON'S DANCING. — CAPTAIN GROSE. 133 



I leave to tyrants and their slaves : 
Give me the stream that sweetly laves 
The banks by Castle Gordon. 

II. 

Spicy forests ever gay, 
Shading from the burning ray 

Hapless wretches sold to toil ; 
Or, the ruthless native\s way. 

Bent on slaughter, blood and spoil ; 
Woods that ever verdant wave, 
I leave the tyrant and the slave : 
Give me the groves that lofty brave 
The storms of Castle Gordon. 



III. 

Wildly here without control 
Nature reigns, and rules the whole ; 

In that sober pensive mood. 
Dearest to the feeling soul. 

She plants the forest, pours the 
flood. 
Life's poor day I '11, musing, rave. 
And find at night a sheltering cave. 
Where waters flow and wild woods 
wave 
By bonie Castle Gordon. 



ON THE DUCHESS OF GOR- 
DON'S REEL DANCING. 

[Published in Stuart's Sta7', Mar. 31, 1789. 
Jane, Duchess of Gordon, was second 
daughter of Sir William Maxwell, third 
Baronet of Monreith.] 

I. 

She kiltit up her kirtle weel 
To show her bonie cutes sae sma', 

And walloped about the reel. 
The lightest louper o' them a'! 

II. 

While some, like slav'ring, doited 
stots 
Stoit'ring out thro' the midden 
dub, 



Fankit their heels amang their coats 
And gart the floor their backsides 
rub ; 



III. 



Gordon, the great, the gay, the gal- 
lant, 

Skip't like a maukin owre a dyke : 
Deil tak me, since I was a callant, 

Gif e'er my een beheld the like ! 



ON CAPTAIN GROSE. 

WRITTEN ON AN ENVELOPE, ENCLOS- 
ING A LETTER TO HIM. 

[The verses were published by Currie in 
1800. It is an amusing parody of a funny 
old song against tale-telling travellers.] 



Ken ye ought o' Captain Grose? 

Igo and ago 
If he's among his friends or foes? 

Irain^ coram, dago 

II. 

Is he south, or is he north ? 

/go and ago 
Or drowned in the River Forth ? 

Iram, coram, dago 



III. 

Is he slain by Hielan' bodies? 

/go and ago 
And eaten like a wether haggis ? 

/ram, coram, dago 



IV. 

Is he to Abra'm's bosom gane? 

/go and ago 
Or haudin Sarah by the wame ? 

/ram, coram, dago 



34 



NEW YEAR'S DAY, 1791. 



V. 

Where'er be be, the Lord be near 
him! 

Igo and ago 
As for the Deil, he daur na steer 
him, 

Irantj coram, dago 

VI. 

But please transmit th' enclosed 
letter 

Igo and ago 
Which will oblige your humble 
debtor 

Irani, coram, dago 

VII. 

So may ye hae auld stanes in store, 
/go a7id ago 

The very stanes that Adam bore! 
Irani, cora?n, dago 

VIII. 

So may ye get in glad possession, 
Igo and ago 

The coins o' Satan's coronation ! 

Irani, coram, dago 



NEW YEAR'S DAY, 1791. 

[Written to Mrs. Dunlop. The "grand- 
child " whose cap is referred to was prob- 
ably the child of Mrs. Henri, born in 
November, 1790.] 

This day Time winds th' exhausted 

chain. 
To run the twelvemonth's length 

again : 
I see the old, bald-pated fellow% 
With ardent eyes, complexion sallow, 
Adjust the unimpair'd machine 
To wheel the equal, dull routine. 

The absent lover, minor heir, 
in vain assail him with their prayer : 



Deaf as my friend, he sees them 
press, 

Nor makes the hour one moment 
less. 

Will you (the Major's with the 
hounds ; 

The happy tenants share his rounds ; 

Coila 's fair Rachel's care to-day, 

And blooming Keith 's engaged with 
Gray) 

From housewife cares a minute bor- 
row 

(That grandchild's cap will do to- 
morrow), 

And join with me a-moralizing? 

This day 's propitious to be wise in ! 

First, what did yesternight de- 
liver? 
^Another year has gone for ever.' 
And what is this day's strong sugges- 
tion ? 
' The passing moment 's all we rest 

on!' 
Rest on — for what ? what do we here ? 
Or why regard the passing year? 
Will Time, amus'd with proverb'd 

lore, 
Add to our date one minute more ? 
A few days may — a few years must — • 
Repose us in the silent dust : 
Then, is it wise to damp our bliss ? 
Yes : all such reasonings are amiss ! 
The voice of Nature loudly cries. 
And many a message from the skies, 
That something in us never dies ; 
That on this frail, uncertain state 
Hang matters of eternal weight ; 
That future life in w^orlds unknown 
Must take its hue from this alone, 
Whether as heavenly glory bright 
Or dark as Misery's woeful night. 

Since, then, my honor'd first of 

friends, 
On this poor being all depends, 
Let us th' important Now employ, 
And live as those who never die. 
Tho' you, with days and honours 

crown'd. 



FROM ESOPUS TO MARIA. 



135 



Witness that filial circle round 
(A sight life's sorrows to repulse, 
A sight pale envy to convulse), 
Others now claim your chief regard : 
Yourself, you wait your bright reward. 



FROM ESOPUS TO MARIA. 

[" The Esopus of this strange epistle," 
says Mr. Allan Cunningham, " was William- 
son the actor, and the Maria to whom it 
was addressed was Mrs. Riddell." While 
Williamson and his brother actors were 
performing at Whitehaven Lord Lonsdale 
committed the whole to prison.] 

From those drear solitudes and 

frowsy cells, 
Where Infamy with sad Repentance 

dwells ; 
Where turnkeys make the jealous 

portal fast. 
And deal from iron hands the spare 

repast ; 
Where truant 'prentices, yet young in 

sin, 
Blush at the curious stranger peeping 

in; 
Where strumpets, relics of the 

drunken roar. 
Resolve to drink, nay half — to whore 

— no more ; 
Where tiny thieves not destined yet 

to swing, 
Beat hemp for others riper for the 

string : 
From these dire scenes my wretched 

lines I date. 
To tell Maria her Esopus' fate. 

' Alas ! I feel I am no actor here ! ' 
'T is real hangmen real scourges bear ! 
Prepare, Maria, for a horrid tale 
Will turn thy very rouge to deadly 

pale ; 
Will make thy hair, tho' erst from 

gipsy poird, 
By barber woven and by barber sold. 
Though twisted smooth with Harry's 

nicest care, 



Like hoary bristles to erect and stare ! 
The hero of the mimic scene, no more 
I start in Hamlet, in Othello roar ] 
Or, haughty Chieftain, 'mid the din of 

arms. 
In Highland bonnet woo Malvina's 

charms : 
While sans-culottes stoop up the 

mountain high. 
And steal me from Maria's prying 

eye. 
Blest Highland bonnet ! once my 

proudest dress. 
Now, prouder still, Maria's temples 

press ! 
I see her wave thy towering plumes 

afar, 
And call each coxcomb to the wordy 

war ! 
I see her face the first of Ireland's 

sons. 
And even out-Irish his Hibernian 

bronze ! 
The crafty Colonel leaves the tartan'd 

lines 
For other wars, where he a hero 

shines ; 
The hopeful youth, in Scottish senate 

bred. 
Who owns a Bushby's heart without 

the head. 
Comes 'mid a string of coxcombs to 

display 
That Veni^ vidz, vzci, is his way ; 
The shrinking Bard adown the alley 

skulks. 
And dreads a meeting worse than 

Woolwich hulks. 
Though there his heresies in Church 

and State 
Might well award him Muir and 

Palmer's fate : 
Still she, undaunted, reels and rattles 

on. 
And dares the public like a noontide 

sun. 
What scandal called Maria's jaunty 

stagger 
The ricket reeling of a crooked 

swagger ? 



136 



TO JOHN RANKINE. 



Whose spleen (e'en worse than Burns's 
venom, when 

He dips in gall unmixM his eager 
pen, 

And pours his vengeance in the burn- 
ing line), 

Who christened thus Maria's lyre- 
divine, 

The idiot strum of Vanity bemus'd 

And even th^ abuse of Poesy abus'd? 

Who called her verse a Parish Work- 
house, made 

For motley foundling Fancies, stolen 
or strayed? 

A Workhouse ! Ah, that sound awakes 
my woes. 

And pillows on the thorn my rack'd 
repose ! 

In durance vile here must I wake and 
weep, 

And all my frowsy couch in sorrow 
steep : 

That straw where many a rogue has 
lain of yore. 

And vermin'd gipsies iitter'd hereto- 
fore. 



Why, Lonsdale, thus thy wrath on 

vagrants pour? 
Must earth no rascal save thyself 

endure ? 
Must thou alone in guilt immortal 

swell, 



And make a vast monopoly of Hell? 
Thou know'st the Virtues cannot hate 

thee worse : 
The Vices also, must they club their 

curse ? 
Or must no tiny sin to others fall, 
Because thy guilt 's supreme enough 

for all? 

Maria, send me too thy griefs and 
cares, 

In all of thee sure thy Esopus 
shares : 

As thou at all mankind the flag un- 
furls 

Who on my fair one Satire's ven- 
geance hurls ! 

Who calls thee, pert, affected, vain 

coquette, 
A wit in folly, and a fool in wit ! 
Who says that fool alone is not thy 

due. 
And quotes thy treacheries to prove 

it true ! 

Our force united on thy foes we'll 

turn. 
And dare the war with all of woman 

born : 
For who can write and speak as thou 

and I? 
My periods that decyphering defy, 
And thy still matchless tongue that 

conquers all reply ! 



NOTES AND EPISTLES. 



TO JOHN RANKINE. 

IN REPLY TO AN ANNOUNCEMENT. 

[The " announcement " was " that a girl 
in that neighborhood was with child " by 
Robert Burns. The communication was 
addressed to the poet after his removal to 
Mossgiel.] 



I AM a keeper of the law 

In some sma' points, altho' not a' ; 

Some people tell me, gin I fa' 

Ae way or ither, 
The breaking of ae point, tho' sma', 

Breaks a' thegither. 



TO JOHN GOLDIE. 



137 



II. 

I hae been in for *t ance or twice, 
And winna say o'er far for thrice, 
Yet never met wi' that surprise 

That broke my rest. 
But now a rumour 's like to rise — 

A wdiaup 's i' the nest ! 



TO JOHN GOLDIE. 

AUGUST, 1785. 

[Mr. John Goldie, or Goudie, atradesman 
in Kilmarnock, was given to mechanical 
and scientific studies, and in later life ad- 
dicted to advanced theology, upon which 
he published a series of essays.] 



O Goudie, terror o' the Whigs, 
Dread o' black coats and rev'rend 

wigs ! 
Sour Bigotry on her last legs 

Girns and looks back, 
Wishing the ten Egyptian plagues 
May seize you quick. 



n. 

Poor gapin, glowrin Superstition ! 
Wae 's me, she *s in a sad condition ! 
Fye! bring Black Jock, her state phy- 
sician. 

To see her water! 
Alas! there's ground for great suspi- 
cion 

She'll ne'er get better. 

ni. 

Enthusiasm 's past redemption : 
Gane in a gallopin consumption : 
Not a' her quacks wi' a' their gump- 
tion 

Can ever mend her ; 
Her feeble pulse gies strong presump- 
tion 

She '11 soon surrender. 



Auld Orthodoxy lang did grapple 
For every hole to get a stapple ; 
But now^ she fetches at the thrapple, 

An* fights for breath : 
Haste, gie her name up in the chapel. 

Near unto death ! 



'T is you an' Taylor are the chief 
To blame for a' this black mischief; 
But, gin the Lord's ain folk gat leave, 

A toom tar barrel 
An' twa red peats wad bring relief, 

And end the quarrel. 



VI. 

For me, my skill 's but very sma', 
An' skill in prose I 've nane ava' ; 
But, quietlenswise between us twa, 

Weel may ye speed ! 
And, tho° they sud you sair misca', 

Ne'er fash your head! 

VII. 

E'en swinge the dogs, and thresh 

them sicker! 
The mair they squeel ay chap the 

thicker. 
And still 'mang hands a hearty bicker 

O' something stout ! 
It gars an owthor's pulse beat quicker, 
An' helps his wit. 

VIII. 

There 's naething like the honest 

nappy : 
Whare '11 ye e'er see men sae happy. 
Or women sonsie, saft, and sappy 

*T ween morn and morn, 
As them wha like to taste the drappie 

In glass or horn ? 



IX. 

I 've seen me daez 't upon a time, 
I scarce could wink or see a styme ; 



138 



TO J. LAPRAIK. 



Just ae hauf-mutchkin does me prime 
(Ought less is little) ; 

Then back I rattle on the rhyme 
As gleg's a whittle. 



TO J. LAPRAIK. 

THIRD EPISTLE. 

[Cromek printed this poem from a copy 
preserved by the author, and found among 
the " sweepings of his study," which Currie 
and his advisers had deemed unworthy of 
pubUcation.] 

I. 

GuiD speed and furder to you, Johnie, 
Guid health, hale han's and weather 

bonie ! 
Now, when yeVe nickin down fu^ 
cannie 

The staff o' bread, 
May ye ne'er want a stoup o' branny 
To clear your head ! 



II. 

May Boreas never thresh your rigs, 
Nor kick your rickles aff their legs, 
Sendin the stuff o'er muirs an' haggs 

Like drivin wrack ! 
But may the tapmost grain that wags 

Come to the sack ! 



in. 

I 'm bizzie, too, an' skelpin at it ; 
But bitter, daudin showers hae wat 

Sae my auld stumpie-pen, I gat it, 
Wi' muckle wark. 

An' took my jocteleg, an' whatt it 
Like onie dark. 

IV. 

It 's now twa month that I 'm your 

debtor 
For your braw, nameless, dateless 

letter, 



Abusin me for harsh ill-nature 

On holy men. 
While deil a hair yoursel ye 're 
better, 

But mair profane ! 



But let the kirk -folk ring their bells ! 
Let 's sing about our noble sePs : 
We '11 cry nae jads frae heathen hills 

To help or roose us. 
But browster wives an' whisky stills — 

They are the Muses ! 



VI. 

Your friendship, sir, I winna quat it ; 
An' if ye mak' objections at it. 
Then hand in nieve some day we '11 
knot it. 

An' witness take ; 
An', when wi' usquabae we 've wat it, 
It winna break. 



VII. 

But if the beast and branks be spar'd 
Till kye be gaun without the herd, 
And a' the vittel in the yard 

An' theckit right, 
I mean your ingle-side to guard 

Ae winter night. 

VIII. 

Then Muse-inspirin aqua-vitae 

Shall mak us baith sae blythe an' 

witty. 
Till ye forget ye 're auld an' gatty. 

And be as canty 
As ye were nine year less than 
thretty — 

Sweet ane an' twenty ! 

IX. 

But stooks are cowpet wi' the blast, 
And now the sinn keeks in the wast ; 
Then I maun rin amang the rest, 
An' quat my chanter ; 



TO THE REV. JOHN M'MATH. 



L4I 



Sae I subscribe mysel in haste, 

Yours, Rab the Ranter. 
Sept. 13, 1785. 



TO THE REV. JOHN M'MATH 

ENXLOSING A COPY OF ^' HOLY WIL- 
LIE'S prayer/' which he had 

REQUESTED, SEPT. 1 7, 1 785. 

(The Rev. Mr. M'Math was, when Burns 
addressed him, assistant and successor to the 
Rev. Peter Wodrow, minister of Tarbolton.) 

I. 

While at the stook the shearers 

cowV 
To shun the bitter blaudin show'r, 
Or, in gulravage rinnin. scowr : 

To pass the time. 
To you I dedicate the hour 
In idle rhyme. 

II. 

My Musie, tir'd wi' monie a sonnet 
On gown an' ban' an' douse black- 
bonnet. 
Is grown right eerie now she 's done 

it, 

Lest they should blame her, 
An' rouse their holy thunder on it, 
And anathem her. 



III. 

I own *t was rash, an' rather hardy, 
That I, a simple, countra Bardie. 
Should meddle wi' a pack sae sturdy, 

Wha, if they ken me. 
Can easy wi' a single wordie 

Louse Hell upon me. 

IV. 

But I gae mad at their grimaces, 
Their sighin, cantin, grace-proud 

faces, 
Their three-mile prayers an' hauf- 

mile graces. 

Their raxin conscience, 



Whase greed, revenge, an' pride dis- 
graces 

Want- nor their nonsense. 

V. 

There 's Gau'n, misca'd waur than a 

beast, 
Wha has mair honor in his breast 
Than monie scores as guid 's the 
priest 

Wha sae abus't him : 
And may a Bard no crack his jest 

What way they 've use 't him ? 



VI. 

See him, the poor man's friend in 

need, 
The gentleman in word an' deed — 
An' shall his fame an' honor bleed 

By worthless skellums, 
An' not a Muse erect her head 

To cowe the blellums ? 

Vll. 

Pope, had I thy satire's darts 
To gie the rascals their deserts, 

1 'd rip their rotten, hollow hearts, 

An' tell aloud 
Their jugglin, hocus-pocus arts 
To cheat the crowd! 

VIII. 

God knows, I 'm no the thing I 

should be, 
Xor am I even the thing I could 

be. 
But twenty times I rather would be 

An atheist clean 
Than under gospel colors hid be 
Just for a screen. 

IX. 

An honest man may like a glass. 
An honest man may like a lass ; 
But mean revenge an' malice fause 

He *11 still disdain 
An' then cry zeal for gospel laws 

Like some we ken. 



\A^^ 



TO DAVIE. 



They take Religion in their mouth, 
They talk o' Mercy, Grace, an' Truth : 
For what? To gie their malice skouth 

On some puir wight ; 
An' hunt him down, o'er right an' 
ruth, 

To ruin streight. 

XI. 

All hail. Religion! Maid divine, 
Pardon a Muse sae mean as mine, 
Who in her rough imperfect line 

Thus daurs to name thee 
To stigmatise false friends of thine 

Can ne'er defame thee. 

XII. 

Tho' blotch't and foul wV monie a 

stain 
An' far unworthy of thy train. 
With trembling voice I tune my strain 

To join with those 
Who boldly dare thy cause maintain 

In spite of foes : 

XIII. 

In spite o' crowds, in spite o' mobs, 
In spite of undermining jobs. 
In spite o' dark banditti stabs 

At worth an' merit. 
By scoundrels, even wi' holy robes 

But heUish spirit! 

XIV. 

O Ayr ! my dear, my native ground, 
Within thy presbyterial bound 
A candid lib'ral band is found 

Of public teachers. 
As men, as Christians too, renown'd, 

An' manly preachers. 

XV. 

Sir, in that circle you are nam'd ; 
Sir, in that circle you are fam'd ; 
An' some, by whom your doctrine 's 
blam'd 

(Which gies ye honor), 



Even, Sir, by them your heart's es- 
teem'd, 

An' winning manner. 

XVI. 

Pardon this freedom I have taen, 
An' if impertinent I 've been, 
Impute it not, good sir, in ane 

Whase heart ne'er wrang'd 

ye, 

But to his utmost would befriend 
Ought that belang'd ye. 



TO DAVIE. 

SECOND EPISTLE. 

[This epistle was prefixed to the edition 
of Sillar's poems, published in Kilmarnock 
in 1789.] 

I. 

AuLD Neebor, 

I 'm three times doubly o'er your 

debtor 
For your auld-farrant, frien'ly let- 
ter; 
Tho' I maun say't, I doubt ye 
flatter. 

Ye speak sae fair : 
For my puir, silly, rhymin clatter 
Some less maun sair. 

II. 

Hale be your heart, hale be your 

fiddle! 
Lang may your elbuck jink an' 

diddle 
To cheer you thro' the wearv wid- 
dle 

O' war'ly cares. 
Till bairns' bairns kindly cuddle 
Your auld grey hairs ! 

III. 

But Davie, lad, I 'm red ye 're 
glaikit : 



TO JOHN KENNEDY, DUMFRIES HOUSE. 



141 



I 'm tauld the Muse ye hae neg- 

leckit : 
An' gif it 's sac, ye sud be lickit 

Until ye fyke : 
Sic ban's as you sud ne'er be faiket. 

Be hain't wha like. 



IV. 

For me, I 'm on Parnassus' brink, 
Rivin the words to gar them clink; 
Whyles daez't wi" love, whyles 
daez't wi' drink 

Wi' jads or Masons, 
An' whyles, but ay owre late I 
think, 

Braw sober lessons. 



V. 

Of a' the thoughtless sons o' man 
Commen' me to the Bardie clan : 
Except it be some idle plan 

O" rhymin chnk — 
The devil-haet that I sud ban ! — 

They never think. 



VI. 



nae 



Nae thought, nae view, 

scheme o' livin, 
Nae cares to gie us joy or grievin. 
But just the pouchie put the nieve 
in. 

An' while ought 's there, 
Then, hiltie-skiltie, we gae 
scrievin. 

An' fash nae mair. 



vn. 

Leeze me on rhyme! It's ay a 

treasure. 
My chief, amaist my only pleasure ; 
At hame, a-fieF, at wark or leisure, 
The Muse, poor hizzie! 
Tho' rough an' raploch be her 
measure. 

She 's seldom lazy. 



VIII. 

Haud to the ]\Iuse, my dainty 

Davie : 
The warl" may play you monie a 

shavie. 
But for the Muse, she'll never 
leave ye, 

Tho' e'er sae puir ; 
Na, even tho'limpin wi* the spavie 
Frae door to door! 



TO JOHN KENNEDY, DUM- 
FRIES HOUSE. 

[These verses form the conclusion of a 
letter written to Mr. John Kennedy from 
Mossgiel, March 3. 1786.] 



Now, Kennedy, if foot or horse 
E'er bring you in by Mauchlin Corss 
(Lord, man, there 's lasses there wad 
force 

A hermit's fancy ; 
And down the gate, in faith ! they 're 
worse 

An' mair unchancy) ; 

II. 

But as I 'm sayin, please step to Dow's, 
An' taste sic gear as Johnie brews, . 
Till some bit callan bring me news 

That ye are there ; 
An' if we dinna hae a bowse, < 

I 'se ne'er drink mair. 

III. 

It 's no I like to sit an' swallow. 
Then like a swine to puke an' wallow ; 
But gie me just a true guid fallow 

Wi' right ingine. 
And spunkie ance to mak us mellow 

An' then we'll shine! 

IV. 

Now if ye 're ane o' warl's folk, 
Wha rate the wearer by the cloak, 



142 



TO GAVIN HAMILTON, ESQ.— TO MR. M'ADAM. 



An' sklent on poverty their joke 
Wi' bitter sneer, 

VVi' you nae friendship I will troke, 
Nor cheap nor dear. 



But if, as I 'm informed weel, 
Ye hate as ill 's the vera Deil 
The flinty heart that canna feel — 

Come, sir, here 's tae you ! 
Hae, there 's my han', I wiss you weel, 

An' Gude be wi' you ! 

ROBT. BURNESS. 
MOSSGIEL, 3r^ March, 1786. 



TO GAVIN HAMILTON, ESQ., 
MAUCHLINE. 

RECOMMENDING A BOY. 

[Master Tootie was a cattle-dealer in 
Mauchline, who disguised the age of his 
cattle by polishing away the markings on 
their horns.] 

MOSSGAVILLE, May 3, 1786. 

I HOLD it. Sir, my bounden duty 
To warn you how that Master Tootie, 

Alias Laird M^Gaun, 
Was here to hire yon lad away 
'Bout whom ye spak the tither day, 

An' wad hae don't aff han' ; 
I3ut lest he learn the callan tricks — 
As faith ! I muckle doubt him — 
fcLike scrapin out auld Crummie's 
nicks, 
An' tellin' lies about them. 
As lieve then, I 'd have then 

Your clerkship he should sair, 
If sae be ye may be 
Not fitted otherwhere. 

Altho' I say't, he 's gleg enough, 
An' bout a house that's rude an' 
rough 

The boy might learn to swear ; 
But then wi' you he '11 be sae taught. 
An' get sic fair example straught, 

I hae na onie fear : 



Ye '11 catechise him every quirk. 

An' shore him weel wi' ' Hell ' ; 
An' gar him follow to the kirk — 
Ay when ye gang yoursel ! 
If ye, then, maun be then 

Frae hame this comin Friday, 
Then please. Sir, to lea'e. Sir, 
The orders wi' your lady. 

My word of honour I hae gien. 

In Paisley John's that night at e'en 

To meet the ' warld's worm,' 
To try to get the twa to gree. 
An' name the aides an' the fee 

In legal mode an' form : 
I ken he weel a snick can draw. 
When simple bodies let him ; 
An' if a Devil be at a'. 

In faith he's sure to get him. 
To phrase you an' praise you, 

Ye ken, your Laureat scorns : 
The pray'r still you share still 
Of grateful Minstrel Burns. 



TO MR. M^ADAM OF CRAIGEN- 
GILLAN. 

IN ANSWER TO AN OBLIGING LETTER 
HE SENT IN THE COMMENCEMENT 
OF MY POETIC CAREER. 

[Cunningham tells us that the factor to 
Craigen-Gillan was the poet's friend Wood- 
burn, who was an early acquaintance of 
Burns.] 



Sir, o'er a gill I gat your card, 
I trow it made me proud. 

' See wha taks notice o' the Bard !' 
I lap, and cry'd fu' loud. 



II. 

Now deil-ma-care about their jaw, 
The senseless, gawky million ! 

1 11 cock my nose aboon them a' : 
I 'm roos'd by Craigen-Gillan ! 



REPLY TO AN INVITATION. — TO JOHN KENNEDY- 



MS 



III. 

'T was noble, sir: Hwas like yoiisel, 
To grant your high protection : 

A great man's smile, ye ken fu' well, 
Is ay a blest infection. 

IV. 

Tho', by his banes wha in a tub 
Match 'd Macedonian Sandy! 

On my ain legs thro^ dirt and dub 
I independent stand ay ; 



And when those legs to guid warm 
kail 

Wi' welcome canna bear me, 
A lee dyke-side, a sybow-tail. 

An' barley-scone shall cheer me. 



VI. 

Heaven spare you lang to kiss the 
breath 
O' monie tiow'ry simmers. 
An' bless your bonie lasses baith 
(I'm tauld they're loosome kim- 
mers) ! 

VII. 

An' God bless young Dunaskin's 
laird, 
The blossom of our gentry, 
An' may he wear an auld man's 
beard, 
A credit to his country! 



REPLY TO AN INVITATION. 

[Written doubtless in a tavern. The 
original Ms. is in the possession of the 
Paisley Burns Club.] 



Sir, 



Yours this moment I unseal, 
And faith ! I 'm gay and hearty. 

To tell the truth and shame the 
Deil, 
I am as fou as Bartie. 



But Foorsday, Sir, my promise leal. 

Expect me o' your partie. 
If on a beastie I can speel 

Or hurl in a cartie. 

Yours, — Robert Burns. 

Machlin, 
Monday Night, lo o'clock. 



TO DR. MACKENZIE. 

An Invitation to a Masonic Gathering, 

[Dr. James Mackenzie, one of the poet's 
warmest friends, practised medicine at 
Mauchline. He introduced the poet to Sir 
James Whitefoord, Professor Dugald Stew- 
art, and other persons of influence.] 

Friday first 's the day appointed 
By our Right Worshipful Anointed 

To hold our grand possession. 
To get a blaud o* Johnie's morals. 
An' taste a swatch o' Manson's barrels 

I' th' way of our profession. 
Our Master and the Brotherhood 

Wad a' be glad to see you. 
For me, I wad be mair than proud 
To share the mercies wi' you. 
If Death, then, wi' skaith then 

Some mortal heart is hechtin. 
Inform him, an' storm him, 
That Saturday ye '11 fecht him. 

Robert Burns, D.M. 

MOSSGIEL, \^th June, A.M. 5790. 



TO JOHN KENNEDY. 

A Farewell.- 

[These lines form the conclusion of a 
letter written by Burns to Mr. John Ken- 
nedy in August, 1786, while his intention 
yet held of emigrating to America.] 

Farewell, dear friend! may guid 

luck hit you. 
And 'mong her favourites admit you ! 



144 



TO AN OLD SWEETHEART. 



If e'er Detraction shore to smit you, 
May nane believe him! 

And onie deil that thinks to get you. 
Good Lord, deceive him! 



TO WILLIE CHALMERS' 
SWEETHEART. 

[Mr. Chalmers was a writer in Ayr, and 
in love. He desired Burns to address the 
lady in his behalf.] 

I. 

Wi' braw new branks in mickle pride. 

And eke a braw new brechen, 
My Pegasus I 'm got astride, 

And up Parnassus pechin : 
Whyles owre a bush wi' downward 
crush 

The doited beastie stammers ; 
Then up he gets, and off he sets 

For sake o' Willie Chalmers. 

II. 

I doubt na, lass, that weel kend name 

May cost a pair o' blushes : 
I am nae stranger to your fame, 

Nor his warm-urged wishes : 
Your bonie face, sae mild and sweet. 

His honest heart enamours ; 
And faith ! ye '11 no be lost a whit, 

Tho' wair'd on WiUie Chalmers. 

III. 

Auld Truth hersel might swear ye 're 
fair. 

And Honor safely back her ; 
And Modesty assume your air, 

And ne'er a ane mistak her ; 
And sic twa love-inspiring een 

Might fire even holy palmers : 
Nae wonder then they 've fatal been 

To honest Willie Chalmers! 

IV. 

I doubt na Fortune may you shore 
Some mim-mou'd, pouther'd pries- 
tie, 



Fu' lifted up wi' Hebrew lore 
And band upon his breastie ; 

But O, what signifies to you 
His lexicons and grammars? 

The feeling heart 's the royal blue, 
And that 's wi' Willie Chalmers. 



V. 

Some gapin, glowrin countra laird 

May warsle for your favour : 
May claw his lug, and straik his 
beard. 

And hoast up some palaver. 
My bonie maid, before ye wed 

Sic clumsy-witted hammers. 
Seek Heaven for help, and barefit 
skelp 

Awa wi' Willie Chalmers. 



VI. 

Forgive the Bard! My fond regard 

For ane that shares my bosom 
Inspires my Muse to gie 'm his dues, 

For deil a hair I roose him. 
May Powers aboon unite you soon, 

And fructify your dmours. 
And every year come in mair dear 

To you and Willie Chalmers ! 



TO AN OLD SWEETHEART. 

WRITTEN ON A COPY OF HIS POEMS 

[The sweetheart was Peggy Thomson of 
Kirkoswald.] 



Once fondly lov'd and still remem- 
ber'd dear. 
Sweet early object of my youthful 
vows. 
Accept this mark of friendship, warm, 
sincere — 
(Friendship ! 't is all cold duty now 
allows) ; 



EXTEMPORE TO GAVIN HAMILTON. 



145 



11. 

And when you read the simple art- 
less rhymes, 
One friendly sigh for him — he asks 
no more — 
Who. distant, burns in flaming torrid 
climes, 
Or haply lies beneath th' Atlantic 
roar. 



EXTEMPORE TO GAVIN 
HAMILTON. 

STANZAS ON NAETHING. 



[Published for the first time in Alexander 
Smith's edition, and extracted, it is sup- 
posed, from the copy of his "Common- 
Place Book" which Bums presented to his 
friend Mrs. Dunlop.] 



To you, Sir, this summons 1 Ve sent 
(Pray, whip till the pownie is 
fraething!) ; 

But if you demand what I want, 
I honestly answer you — naething. 

II. 

Ne'er scorn a poor Poet like me 
For idly just living and breathing, 

While people of every degree 
Are busy employed about — nae- 



thing. 



III. 



Poor Centum-per-Centum may fast, 
And grumble his hurdles their 
claithing ; 

He 11 find, when the balance is cast. 
He 's gane to the Devil for — nae- 



thing. 



IV. 



The courtier cringes and bows ; 
Ambition has likewise its play 
thing — 



A coronet beams on his brows ; 
And what is a coronet ? — Nae- 
thing. 



Some quarrel the Presbyter gown. 
Some quarrel Episcopal graithing ; 

But every good fellow will own 
The quarrel is 2C about — nae- 
thing. 

VI. 

The lover may sparkle and glow. 
Approaching his bonie bit gay 
thing ; 
But marriage will soon let him know 
He 's gotten — a buskit-up nae- 
thing. 

VII. 

The Poet may jingle and rh}mie 
In hopes of a laureate wreathing. 

And when he has wasted his time. 
He "s kindly rewarded with — nae- 
thing. 

VIII. 

The thundering bully may rage. 
And swagger and swear like a 
heathen ; 
But collar him fast, I *11 engage, 



You'll find that his 
naething. 



IX. 



IS 



Last night with a feminine Whig — 
A poet she couldna put faith in! 

But soon we grew lovingly big, 
I taught her, her terrors were — 
naething. 



X. 



Her Whigship was wonderful pleased. 
But charmingly tickled wi' ae thing ; 

Her fingers I lovingly squeezed, 
And kissed her, and promised her 



— naething. 



», 



146 



REPLY TO A TRIMMING EPISTLE FROM A TAILOR. 



XI. 

The priest anathemas may threat — 
Predicament, sir, that weVe baith 
in; 

But when Honors reveille is beat, 
The holy artillery 's — naething. 



XII. 

And now I must mount on the wave : 

My voyage perhaps there is death 
in; 
But what is a watery grave? 

The drowninof a Poet is — nae- 



thing. 



XIII. 



And now, as grim Death ^s in my 
thought. 
To you, Sir, I make this bequeath- 
ing : 
My service as long as ye 've ought, 
And my friendship, by God, when 
ye Ve — naething. 



REPLY TO A TRIMMING EPIS- 
TLE RECEIVED FROM A 
TAILOR. 

[The tailor was one Thomas Walker, 
who resided at Pool, near Ochiltree. The 
reply voices the ribald disdain entertained 
by the Scots peasantry for the disciplinary 
processes of the Kirk.] 



What ails ye now, ye lousie bitch, 
To thresh my back at sic a pitch ? 
Losh, man, hae mercy wi' your natch! 

Your bodkin *s bauld : 
I didna suffer half sae much 

Frae Daddie Auld. 

II. 

What tho' at times, when I grow 
crouse, 



I gie their Avames a random pouse, 
Is that enough for you to souse 

Your servant sae ? 
Gae mind your seam, ye prick-the- 
louse 

An' jag-the-flae! 

III. 

King David o' poetic brief 

Wrocht 'mang the lasses sic mischief 

As fiird his after-life with grief 

An^ bloody rants ; 
An^ yet he 's ranked amang the chief 

O' lang-syne saunts. 

IV. 

And maybe, Tam, for a^ my cants. 
My wicked rhymes an' drucken rants, 
I '11 gie auld Cloven-Clootie's haunts 

An unco slip yet. 
An' snugly sit amang the saunts 

At Davie's hip yet! 

V. 

But, fegs! the Session says I maun 

Gae fa' upo' anither plan 

Than garrin lasses coup the cran, 

Clean heels owre body. 
An sairly thole their mither's ban 

Afore the howdy. 

VI. 

This leads me on to tell for sport 
How I did wi' the Session sort : 
Auld Clinkum at the inner port 

Cried three times : — ^ Robin ! 
Come hither lad, and answer for't, 

Ye 're blam'd for jobbin! ' 

VII. 

Wi' pinch I put a Sunday's face on, 
An' snoov'd awa' before the Session : 
I made an open, fair confession — 

I scorn'd to lie — 
An' syne Mess John, beyond expres- 
sion, 

Fell foul o' me. 



TO MAJOR LOGAN. 



H7 



VIII. 

A fornicator-loun he calPd me, 

An' said my faut frae bliss expelFd me. 

I own'd the tale was true he telPd me, 

•• But, what the matter ? ' 
(Quo' I) ' 1 fear unless ye geld me, 

I '11 ne'er be better! ' 

IX. 

' Geld you ! ' (quo' he) ' an' what for no ? 
If that your right hand, leg, or toe 
Should ever prove your sp'ritual foe, 

You should remember 
To cut it afif ; an' what for no 

Your dearest member ? ' 

X. 

' Na, na' (quo' I), ^ I 'm no for that, 
Gelding 's nae better than 't is ca 't ; 
I 'd rather suffer for my faut 

A hearty flewit, 
As sair owre hip as ye can draw't, 

Tho' I should rue it. 

XI. 

* Or, gin ye like to end the bother. 
To please us a' — I 've just ae ither : 
When next wi' yon lass I forgather, 

Whate'er betide it, 
I '11 frankly gie her 't a' thegither, 

An' let her guide it.' 

XII. 

But, Sir, this pleas'd them warst of a'. 
An' therefore, Tam, when that I saw, 
I said ' Guid-night,' an' cam awa, 

An' left the Session : 
I saw they were resolved a' 

On my oppression. 



TO MAJOR LOGAN. 

[Major Logan, a retired military officer, 
fond of wit, violin playing, and conviviality, 
who lived at Park Villa, near Ayr.] 



Hail, thairm-inspirin, rattlin Willie ! 
Tho' Fortune's road be rough an' hilly 



To every fiddling, rhyming billie, 

We never heed, 
But take it like the unbrack'd filly 

Proud o' her speed. 

II. 

When, idly goavin, whyles we saunter, 
Yirr! Fancy barks, awa we canter, 
Up hill, down brae, till some mishanter, 

Some black bog-hole, 
Arrests us ; then the scathe an' banter 

We re forced to thole. 



III. 

Hale be your heart ! hale be your fiddle ! 
Lang may your elbuck jink an' diddle, 
To cheer you through the weary widdle 

O' this vile warl'. 
Until you on a cummock driddle, 

A grey-hair'd carl. 

IV. 

Come wealth, come poortith, late or 

soon, 
Heaven send your heart-strings ay in 

tune, 
And screw your temper-pins aboon 

(A fifth or mair) 
The melancholious, sairie croon 
O' cankrie Care. 

V. 

May still your life from day to day, 
Nae le/ife largo in the play 
But allegretto forte gay. 

Harmonious flow, 
A sweeping, kindling, bauld strath- 
spey — 

Ejtcore! Bravo 1 



VI. 

A' blessings on the cheery gang, 
Wha dearly like a jig or sang. 
An' never think o' right an' wrang 



By square an' rule, 
clegs o' feeling st^ 
Are wise or fool. 



But as the clegs o' feeling stang 



148 



TO THE GUIDWIFE OF WAUCHOPE HOUSE. 



VII. 



My hand-waPd curse keep hard in 

chase 
The harpy, hoodock, purse-proud 



race, 



Wha count on poortith as disgrace! 

Their tuneless hearts, 
May fireside discords jar a bass 

To a' their parts I 



VIII. 

But come, your hand, my careless 

brither ! 
r th' ither warP, if there's anither — 
An' that there is, I Ve little swither 

About the matter — 
We, cheek for chow, shall jog the- 
gither — 

I 'se ne'er bid better ! 



IX. 

We Ve faults and failins — granted 

clearly! 
We're frail, backsliding mortals 

merely ; 
Eve's bonie squad, priests wyte them 

sheerly 

For our grand fa' ; 
But still, but still — I like them 

dearly . . . 

God bless them a' ! 



X. 

Ochon for poor Castalian drinkers, 
When they fa' foul o' earthly jinkers ! 
The witching, curs'd, delicious blink- 
ers 

Hae put me hyte. 
An' gart me weet my waukrife wink- 
ers 

Wi' girnin spite. 



XI. 

But by yon moon — and that 's high 

swearin ! — 
An' every star within my hearin, 



An' by her een wha was a dear ane 

I '11 ne'er forget, 
I hope to gie the jads a clearin 

In fair play yet ! • 

XII. 

My loss I mourn, but not repent it ; 
I '11 seek my pursie whare I tint it ; 
Ance to the Indies I were wonted, 

Some cantraip hour 
By some sweet elf I '11 yet be dinted : 

Then vive V amour I 

XIII. 

Faites 7nes baissemains respectueush 

To sentimental sister Susie 

And honest Lucky : no to roose you, 

Ye may be proud. 
That sic a couple Fate allows ye 

To grace your blood. 

XIV. 

Nae mair at present can I measure, 
An' trowth ! my rhymin ware 's nae 

treasure ; 
But when in Ayr, some half-hour's 
leisure, 

Be 't light, be 't dark. 
Sir Bard will do himself the pleasure 
To call at Park. 

Robert Burns. 

MOSSGIEL, -^oth October, 1786. 



TO THE GUIDWIFE OF 
WAUCHOPE HOUSE. 

(MRS. SCOTT.) 

[Mrs. Scott of Wauchope, Roxburgh- 
shire, had sent a rhymed epistle to Burns, 
displaying considerable vigor of thought 
and neatness of expression.] 

I. 

GuiD Wife, 

I mind it weel, in early d^te. 
When I was beardless, young, and 
blate, 



TO WILLIAM TYTLER, ESQ. 



149 



An' first could thresh the barn, 
Or hand a yokin at the pleugh, 
An\ tho' forfoughten sair eneugh, 

Yet unco proud to learn ; 
When first amang the yellow corn 

A man I reckoned was, 
An' wi' the lave ilk merry morn 
Could rank my rig and lass : 
Still shearing, and clearing 
The tither stooked raw, 
Wi' clavers an' havers 
Wearing the day awa. 

II. 

E'en then, a wish (I mind its pow'r), 
A wish that to my latest hour 

Shall strongly heave my breast. 
That I for poor auld Scotland's sake 
Some usefu'plan or book could make. 

Or sing a sang at least. 
The rough burr-thistle spreading wide 

Amang the bearded bear, 
I turn'd the weeder-clips aside. 
An' spar'd the symbol dear. 
No nation, no station 

My envy e'er could raise ; 
A Scot still, but blot still, 
I knew nae higher praise. 

III. 

But still the elements o' sang 

In formless jumble, right an' wrang, 

Wild floated in my brain ; 
Till on that hairst I said before, 
My partner in the merry core, 

She rous'd the forming strain. 
I see her yet, the sonsie quean 

That lighted up my >ingle. 
Her witching smile, her pauky een 
That gart my heart-strings tingle! 
I fired, inspired. 

At ev'ry kindling keek. 
But, bashing and dashing, 
I feared ay to speak. 

IV. 

Hale to the sex! (ilk guid chiel says) : 
Wi' merry dance on winter days, 
An' we to share in common ! 



The gust o' joy, the balm of woe, 
The saul o' life, the heav'n below 

Is rapture-giving Woman. 
Ye surly sumphs, who hate the name, 

Be mindfu' o' your mither : 
She, honest woman, may think shame 
That ye 're connected with her! 
Ye 're wae men, ye 're nae men 
That slight the lovely dears ; 
To shame ye, disclaim ye, 
Ilk honest birkie swears. 



For you, no bred to barn and byre, 
Wha sweetly tune the Scottish lyre. 

Thanks to you for your line! 
The marl'd plaid ye kindly spare. 
By me should gratefully be ware ; 

'Twad please me to the nine. 
I 'd be mair vauntie o' my hap. 

Douce hingin owre my curple, 
Than onie ermine ever lap. 
Or proud imperial purple. 

Farewell, then! lang hale, then, 

An' plenty be your fa' ! 
May losses and crosses 
Ne'er at your hallan ca' ! 

R. Burns. 
March, 1787. 



TO WM. TYTLER, ESQ., OF 
WOODHOUSELEE, 

with an impression of the 
author's portrait. 

[Mr. Tytler had published an " Inquiry, 
Historical and Critical, into the evidence 
against Mary Queen of Scots."] 

I. 

Revered defender of beauteous Stu- 
art, 
Of Stuart! — a name once respected, 
A name which to love was once mark 
of a true heart. 
But now 'tis despis'd and neglected! 



ISO 



TO MR. RENTON. — TO MISS ISABELLA MACLEOD. 



II. 

Tho' something like moisture con- 
globes in my eye — 
Let no one misdeem me disloyal! 
A poor friendless wandVer may well 
claim a sigh — 
Still more, if that wandVer were 
royal. 

III. 

My Fathers that name have reverM 
on a throne ; 
My Fathers have fallen to right it : 
Those Fathers would spurn their de- 
generate son, 
That name, should he scoffingly 



slight it. 



IV. 



Still in prayers for King George I 
most heartily join, 
The Queen, and the rest of the 
gentry ; 
Be they wise, be they foolish, is noth- 
ing of mine : 
Their title 's avow'd by my country. 

V. 

But why of that epoch a make such a 

fuss 

That gave us the Hanover stem? 

If bringing them over was lucky for 

us, 

I 'm sure 't was as lucky for them. 

VI. 

But loyalty — truce! weVe on dan- 
gerous ground : 
Who knows how the fashions may 
alter? 
The doctrine, to-day, that is loyalty 
sound, 
To-morrow may bring us a halter! 

VII. 

I send you a trifle, a head of a Bard, 
A trifle scarce worthy your care ; 



But accept it, good Sir, as a mark of 
regard. 
Sincere as a saint's dying prayer. 



VIII. 

Now Life's chilly evening dim-shades 
on your eye, 
And ushers the long dreary night ; 
But you, like the star that athwart 
gilds the sky. 
Your course to the latest is bright. 



TO MR. RENTON OF LAMER- 
TON. 

[Sent to Mr. Renton, Mordington House, 
Berwickshire, probably during the poet's 
Border tour, though Renton is not men- 
tioned in his journal. Published in Cham- 
bers, 1851.] 

Your billet. Sir, I grant receipt ; 
Wi' you 1 11 canter onie gate, 
Tho^ 'twere a trip to yon blue warP 
Where birkies march on burning 

marl : 
Then, Sir, God willing, I '11 attend 

ye. 
And to His goodness I commend ye. 

R. Burns. 



TO MISS ISABELLA MACLEOD. 

[Published in a Dumfries newspaper 
and again in " The Burns Chronicle " (1895) 
from the manuscript in the possession of 
Mrs. Vincent Burns Scott, Adelaide.] 

Edinburgh, March 16, 1787. 

I. 

The crimson blossom charms the bee, 
The summer sun the swallow : 

So dear this tuneful gift to me 
From lovely Isabella. 



TO SYMON GRAY. — TO MISS FERKIER. 



51 



II. 



Her portrait fair upon my mind 
Revolving time shall mellow, 

And memory's latest effort find 
The lovely Isabella. 



III. 



No Bard nor lover's rapture this 
In fancies vain and shallow ! 

She is, so come my soul to bliss, 
The Lovely Isabella ! 



TO SYMON GRAY. 

[S>mon Gray lived near Duns, and while 
Burns was on his Border tour sent him 
some verses for his opinion.] 



Symon Gray, you 're dull to-day ! 
Dullness with redoubled sway 
Has seized the wits of Symon Gray. 



II. 

Dear Symon Gray, the other day 
When you sent me some rhyme, 

I could not then just ascertain 
Its worth for want of time ; 



III. 

But now to-day, good Mr. Gray, 
I Ve read it o'er and o'er : 

Tried all my skill, but find I 'm still 
Just where I was before. 



IV. 

We auld wives' minions gie our opin- 
ions, 

Solicited or no ; 
Then of its fauts my honest thoughts 

I 'U give — and here they go : 



V. 

Such damn'd bombdst no age that's 
past 

Can show, nor time to come ; 
So, Symon dear, your song I '11 tear, 

And with it wipe my bum. 



TO MISS FERRIER. 

[Eldest daughter of James Ferrier, writer 
to the Signet, and sister of Miss Ferrier the 
novelist.] 



Nae heathen name shall I prefix 
Frae Findus or Parnassus ; 

Auld Reekie dings them a' to sticks 
For rhyme-inspiring lasses. 



II. 

Jove's tunefu' dochters three times 
three 

Made Homer deep their debtor; 
But gien the body half an e'e. 

Nine Ferriers wad done better! 



III. 

Last day my mind was in a bog ; 

Down George's Street I stoited ; 
A creeping, cauld, prosaic fog 

My very senses doited ; 



rv. 

Do what I dought to set her free. 
My saul lay in the mire : 

Ye turned a neuk, I saw your e'e, 
She took the wing like fire ! 



V. 

The mournfu' sang I here enclose, 

In gratitude I send you, 
And pray, in rhyme as weel as prose, 

A' guid things may attend you ! 



152 



SYLVANDER TO CLARINDA.— TO CLARINDA. 



SYLVANDER TO CLARINDA. 

[Clarinda was Mrs. Agnes Maclehose, 
daughter of Andrew Craig, surgeon, Glas- 
gow. See Notes.] 

I. 

When dear Clarinda, matchless fair, 
First struck Sylvander's raptur'd 
view, 

He gaz'd, he listened to despair — 
Alas ! 'twas all he dared to do. 



II. 

Love from Clarinda's heavenly eyes 
Transfix'd his bosom thro' and 
thro. 
But still in Friendship's guarded 
guise — 
For more the demon fear'd to do. 



III. 

That heart, already more than lost, 
The imp beleaguer^ all perdu ; 

For frowning Honor kept his post — 
To meet that frown he shrunk to 
do. 

IV. 

His pangs the Bard refus'd to own, 

Tho' half he wish'd Clarmda knew ; 
But Anguish wrung the unweeting 
groan — 
Who blames what frantic Pain 
must do? 

V. 

That heart, where motley follies 
blend, 

Was sternly still to Honor true : 
To prove Clarinda's fondest friend 

Was what a lover, sure, might do! 

VI. 

The Muse his ready quill employed ; 
No nearer bliss he could pursue ; 



That bliss Clarinda cold deny'd — 
' Send word by Charles how you 



do!' 



VII. 



The chill behest disarmed his Muse, 
Till Passion all impatient grew : 

He wrote, and hinted for excuse, 
' 'T was 'cause he'd nothino^ else to 



do.* 



VIII. 



But by those hopes I have above ! 

And by those faults I dearly rue ! 
The deed, the boldest mark of love. 

For thee that deed I dare to do ! 

IX. 

O, could the Fates but name the 
price 
Would bless me with your charms 
and you, 
With frantic joy I 'd pay it thrice. 
If human art or power could do ! 

X. 

Then take, Clarinda, friendship's 
hand 
(Friendship, at least, I may avow), 
And lay no more your chill com- 
mand — 
1 11 write, whatever I 've to do. 

SYLVANDER. 

Wednesday night. 



TO CLARINDA. 

WITH A PAIR OF WINE-GLASSES. 

[The glasses were sent as a parting 
gift when Burns left Edinburgh, March 24, 
1788.] 

I. 

Fair Empress of the Poet's soul 

And Queen of Poetesses, 
Clarinda, take this little boon. 

This humble pair of glasses ; 



TO HUGH PARKER.— TO ALEX. CUNNINGHAM. 



153 



II. 



And fill them up with generous juice, 
As generous as your mind ; 

And pledge them to the generous 
toast : 
' The whole of human kind ! ' 



III. 



' To those who love us ! ' second fill ; 

But not to those whom we love, 
Lest we love those who love not us ! 

A third : — ^ To thee and me, love ! ' 



TO HUGH PARKER. 

[Written from Ellisland to his friend 
Mr. Hugh Parker of Kihnarnock. Pub- 
lished by Cunningham in 1834.] 

In this strange land, this uncouth 

clime, 
A land unknown to prose or rhyme ; 
Where words ne'er cros't the Muse's 

heckles. 
Nor limpit in poetic shackles : 
A land that Prose did never view it. 
Except when drunk he stacher't thro' 

it: 
Here, ambushed by the chimla cheek, 
Hid in an atmosphere of reek, 
I hear a wheel thrum i' the neuk, 
I hear it — for in vain I leuk : 
The red peat gleams, a fiery kernel 
Enhusked by a fog infernal. 
Here, for my wonted rhyming rap- 
tures, 
I sit and count my sins by chapters ; 
For life and spunk like ither Chris- 
tians, 
I 'm dwindled down to mere exist- 
ence ; ^ 
Wi' na converse but Gallowa' bodies, 
Wi' nae kend face but Jenny Geddes. 
Jenny, my Pegasean pride, 
Dowie she saunters down Nithside, 
And ay a westlin leuk she throws. 
While tears hap o'er her auld brown 
nose ! 



Was it for this wi' cannie care 
Thou bure the Bard through many a 

shire? 
At howes or hillocks never stumbled, 
And late or early never grumbled? 
O, had I power like inclination, 
I 'd heeze thee up a constellation! 
To canter with the Sagitarre, 
Or loup the Ecliptic like a bar. 
Or turn the Pole like any arrow ; 
Or, when auld Phoebus bids good- 
morrow, 
Down the Zodiac urge the race. 
And cast dirt on his godship's face : 
For I could lay my bread and kail 
He'd ne'er cast saut upo' thy tail! 
Wi' a' this care and a' this grief. 
And sma', sma' prospect of relief. 
And nought but peat reek i' my head, 
How can I write what ye can read? — 
Tarbolton, twenty-fourth o' June, 
Ye '11 find me in a better tune ; 
But till we meet and weet our whistle, 
Tak this excuse for nae epistle. 

Robert Burns. 



TO ALEX. CUNNINGHAM. 

Ellisland in Nithsdale, 
yz^ly 27M, 1788. 

[Burns and Cunningham were on the 
friendUest terms until the poet's death. It 
was Cunningham who originated both the 
subscription on behalf of Mrs. Burns and 
the scheme for a collected edition, and to 
him the success of both enterprises is chiefly 
due.] 

I. 

My godlike friend — nay, do not 
stare : 

You think the praise is odd-like? 
But ' God is Love,' the saints declare ; 

Then surely thou art god-Hke ! 

II. 

And is thy ardour still the same, 
And kindled still in Anna? 

Others may boast a partial flame, 
But thou art a volcano! 



J54 



TO ROBERT GRAHAM, ESQ., OF FINTRY. 



III. 



Even Wedlock asks not love beyond 
Death's tie-dissolving portal ; 

But thou, omnipotently fond, 
May'st promise love immortal! 



IV. 

Thy wounds such healing powers 
defy, 

Such symptoms dire attend them, 
That last great antihectic try — 

Marriage perhaps may mend them. 

V. 

Sweet Anna has an air — a grace, 
Divine, magnetic, touching ! 

She takes, she charms — but who can 
trace 
The process of bewitching? 



TO ROBERT GRAHAM, ESQ., 
OF FINTRY, 

REQUESTING A FAVOUR. 

[Robert Graham of Fintry was one of 
the Commissioners of Excise. The " Epis- 
tle " was the poet's earliest attempt in the 
manner of Pope.] 

When Nature her great master-piece 

designed. 
And framed her last, best work, the 

human mind. 
Her eye intent on all the wondrous 

plan. 
She form'd of various stuff the various 

Man. 

The useful many first, she calls them 

forth — 
Plain plodding Industry and sober 

Worth : 
Thence peasants, farmers, native sons 

of earth, 
And merchandise' whole genus take 

their birth ; 



Each prudent cit a warm existence 

finds. 
And all mechanics' many-apronVl 

kinds. 
Some other rarer sorts are wanted 

yet- 
The lead and buoy are needful to the 

net : 
The caput mortuiofi of gross desires 
Makes a material for mere knights 

and squires ; 
The martial phosphorus is taught to 

fiow ; 
She kneads the lumpish philosophic 

dough. 
Then marks th' unyielding mass with 

grave designs — 
Law, physic, politics, and deep di- 
vines ; 
Last, she sublimes th' Aurora of the 

poles. 
The flashing elements of female souls. 

The ordered system fair before her 
stood ; 

Nature, well pleas'd, pronounc'd it 
very good ; 

Yet ere she gave creating labour o'er. 

Half-jest, she tried one curious labour 
more. 

Some spumy, fiery, ignis fatinis mat- 
ter. 

Such as the slightest breath of air 
might scatter ; 

With arch-alacrity and conscious glee 

(Nature may have her whim as well 
as we : 

Her Hogarth-art, perhaps she meant 
to show it). 

She forms the thing, and christens it 
— a Poet : 

Creature, tho' oft the prey of care and 
sorrow. 

When blest to-day, unmindful of to- 
morrow ; 

A being form'd t' amuse his graver 
friends ; 

Admir'd and prais'd — and there the 
wages ends ; 

A mortal quite unlit for Fortune's strife 



TO ROBERT GRAHAM, ESQ., OF FINTRY. 



155 



Yet oft the sport of all the ills of life ; 
Prone to enjoy each pleasure riches 

give. 
Yet haply wanting wherewithal to live ; 
Longing to wipe each tear, to heal 

each groan, 
Yet frequent all unheeded in his own. 

But honest Nature is not quite a 

Turk: 
She laughed at first, then felt for her 

poor work. 
Viewing the propless cHmber of man- 
kind. 
She cast about a standard tree to 

find ; 
In pity for his helpless woodbine 

state. 
She clasp'd his tendrils round the 

truly great : 
A title, and the only one I claim. 
To lay strong hold for help on 

bounteous Graham. 

Pity the hapless Muses' tuneful 

train ! 
Weak, timid landsmen on life's stormy 

main, 
Their hearts no selfish, stern, absor- 
bent stuff. 
That never gives — tho' humbly takes 

— enough : 
The little Fate allows, they share as 

soon, 
Unlike sage, proverb'd Wisdom's 

hard-wrung boon. 
The world were blest did bliss on 

them depend — 
Ah, that ^the friendly e'er should 

want a friend ! ' 
Let Prudence number o'er each 

sturdy son 
Who life and wisdom at one race 

begun, 
Who feel by reason, and w^ho give 

by rule 
(Instinct's a brute, and Sentiment a 

fool !), 
Who make poor ^will do' wait upon 

' I should ' — 



We own they 're prudent, but who 

owns they 're good ? 
Ye wise ones, hence! ye hurt the 

social eye, 
God's image rudely etch'd on base 

alloy ! 
But come ye who the godlike pleasure 

know, * 
Heaven's attribute distinguished — to 

bestow ! 
Whose arms of love would grasp all 

human race : 
Come thou who giv'st with all a 

courtier's grace — 
Friend of my hfe, true patron of my 

rhymes, 
Prop of my dearest hopes for future 

times ! 



Why shrinks my soul, half blush- 
ing, half afraid. 

Backward, abashed to ask thy friendly 
aid? 

I know my need, I know thy giving 
hand, 

I tax thy friendship at thy kind com- 
mand. 

But there are such who court the 
tuneful Nine 

(Heavens! should the branded char- 
acter be mine !), 

Whose verse in manhood's pride sub- 
limely flow^s. 

Yet vilest reptiles in their begging 
prose. 

Mark, how their lofty independent 
spirit 

Soars on the spurning wing of injured 
merit ! 

Seek vou the proofs in private life to 
find? 

Pity the best of words should be but 
wind ! 

So to Heaven's gates the lark's shrill 
song ascends. 

But grovelling on the earth the carol 
ends. 

In all the clam'rous cry of starving 
want, 



156 IMPROMPTU TO CAPTAIN RIDDELL. — TO JAMES TENNANT. 



They dun Benevolence with shame- 
less front ; 

Oblige them, patronise their tinsel 
lays — 

They persecute you all your future 
days I 

Ere my poor soul such deep dam- 
nation stain, 
My horny fist assume the plough 

again ! 
The pie-bald jacket let me patch once 

more ! 
On eighteenpence a week I Ve livM 

before. 
Tho', thanks to Heaven, I dare even 

that last shift, 
I trust, meantime, my boon is in thy 

gift: 
That, plac'd by thee upon the wish'd- 

for height. 
With man and nature fairer in her 

sight. 
My Muse may imp her wing for 

some sublimer flight. 



IMPROMPTU TO CAPTAIN 
RIDDELL, 

ON RETURNING A NEWSPAPER. 

[Burns's near neighbor at Friars Carse, 
who showed him great courtesy, and gave 
him a key to his private grounds and 
the Hermitage on Nithside. The news- 
paper contained some strictures on Burns's 
poetry.] 

Ellisland, Mo7iday Evening. 

I. 

Your News and Review, Sir, 
I Ve read through and through, 
Sir, 
With little admiring or blaming : 
The Papers are barren 
Of home-news or foreign — 
No murders or rapes worth the nam- 
ing. 



II. 

Our friends, the Reviewers, 

Those chippers and hewers, 
Are judges of mortar and stone, Sir ; 

But of meet or unmeet 

In a fabric complete 
I '11 boldly pronounce they are none, 
Sir. 



III. 

My goose-quill too rude is 

To tell all your goodness 
Bestowed on your servant, the Poet ; 

Would to God I had one 

Like a beam of the sun. 
And then all the world, Sir, should 
know it ! 



REPLY TO A NOTE FROM 
CAPTAIN RIDDELL. 

[This trifle was written on the back of a 
rhyming note from Glenriddell himself.] 

Ellisland. 

Dear Sir, at onie time or tide 
I M rather sit wi^ you than ride, 

Tho' 't were wi^ royal Geordie : 
And trowth! your kindness soon and 

late 
Aft gars me to mysel look blate — 

The Lord in Heaven reward ye! 

R. Burns. 



TO JAMES TENNANT OF 
GLENCONNER. 

[Mr. James Tennant of Glenconner was 
an old friend of the Poet, and was consulted 
by him respecting the taking of the farm of 
Ellisland.] 

AuLD comrade dear and brither 
sinner. 

How's a' the folk about Glencon- 
ner ? 



TO JOHN M'MURDO. 



157 



How do you this blae eastlin wind, 
That's hke to blaw a body blind ? 
For me, my facuhies are frozen. 
My dearest member nearly dozen'd. 
I 've sent you here, by Johnie Sim- 
son, 
Twa sage philosophers to glimpse 

on : 
Smith wi' his sympathetic feeling, 
An' Reid to common sense appeal- 
ing. 
Philosophers have fought and wran- 
gled, 
An' meikle Greek an' Latin mangled, 
Till, wd' their logic-jargon tir'd 
And in the depth of science mir'd, 
To common sense they now appeal — 
What wives and wabsters see and 

feel! 
But, hark ye, friend ! I charge you 

strictly. 
Peruse them, an' return them quickly : 
For now I 'm grown sae cursed douse 
I pray and ponder butt the house ; 
My shins my lane I there sit roastin, 
Perusing Bunyan, Brown, an' Boston ; 
Till by an' by, if I haud on, 
I '11 grunt a real gospel groan. 
Already I begin to try it. 
To cast my een up like a pyet, 
When by the gun she tumbles o'er, 
FluttTing an' gasping in her gore : 
Sae shortly you shall see me bright, 
A burning an' a shining light. 

My heart-warm love to guid auld 

Glen, 
The ace an' wale of honest men : 
When bending down wi' auld grey 

hairs 
Beneath the load of years and cares. 
May He who made him still support 

him. 
An' views beyond the grave comfort 

him ! 
His worthy fam'ly far and near, 
God bless them a' wi' grace and gear ! 

My auld schoolfellow, preacher 
WUli^, 



The manly tar, my Mason-biilie, 
And Auchenbay, I wish him joy ; 
If he "s a parent, lass or boy. 
May he be dad and Meg the mither 
Just five-and-forty years thegither ! 
And no forgetting wabster CharHe, 
I 'm tauld he offers very fairly 
An', Lord, remember singing Sannock 
Wi' hale breeks, saxpence, an' a ban- 
nock ! 
And next my auld acquaintance, 

Nancy, 
Since she is fitted to her fancy. 
An' her kind stars hae airted till her 
A guid chiel wi' a pickle siller ! 
My kindest, best respects, I sen' it, 
To cousin Kate, an' sister Janet : 
Tell them, frae me, wi' chiels be 

cautious, 
For, faith I they'll aiblins fin' them 

fashions ; 
To grant a heart is fairly civil. 
But to grant a maidenhead's the 

devil ! 
An' lastly, Jamie, for yoursel. 
May guardian angels tak a spell, 
An' steer you seven miles south o' 

Hell! 
But first, before you see Heaven's 

glory, 
May ye get monie a merry stor}-, 
Monie a laugh and monie a drink. 
And ay eneugh 0' needfu' cHnk ! 

Now fare ye weel, an' joy be wi' you ! 
For my sake, this I beg it o' you : 
Assist poor Simson a' ye can ; 
Ye '11 fin' him just an honest man. 
Sae I conclude, and quat my chanter. 
Yours, saint or sinner, 

Rab the Ranter 



TO JOHN M^MURDO. 

WITH SOME OF THE AUTHOR'S POEMS. 



[The note was probably sent after a letter 
of the poet in which he says he is indebted 



158 SONNET TO ROBERT GRAHAM.— EPISTLE TO DR. BLACKLOCK 



to M'Murdo for a chap containing "Five 
Excellent Songs."] 

I. 

O, COULD I give thee India's wealth, 

As I this trifle send ! 
Because thy Joy in both would be 

To share them with a friend ! 



II. 

But golden sands did never grace 

The HeHconian stream ; 
Then take what ofold could never 



buy — 
An honest Bard's esteem. 



SONNET TO ROBERT GRA- 
HAM, ESQ. OF FINTRY, 

ON RECEIVING A FAVOUR, I9TH 
AUGUST, 1789. 

[The favor was the appointment to an 
excise district on which the writer's farm was 
situated.] 

I CALL no Goddess to inspire my 
strains : 

A fabled Muse may suit a Bard that 
feigns. 

Friend of my life ! my ardent spirit 
burns, 

And all the tribute of my heart re- 
turns. 

For boons accorded, goodness ever 
new. 

The gift still dearer, as the giver you. 

Thou orb of day ! thou other paler 

light ! 
And all ye many sparkling stars of 

night ! 
If aught that giver from my mind 

efface. 
If I that giver's bounty e'er disgrace, 
Then roil to me along your wandVing 

spheres 
Only to number out a villain's years ! 



I lay my hand upon my swelling 
breast. 
And grateful would, but cannot, speak 
the rest. 



EPISTLE TO DR. BLACKLOCK. 

[Thomas Blacklock, a blind poet, protege 
of David Hume. It was owing to Blacklock 
that Burns resolved upon an Edinburgh 
edition.] 

Ellisland, 2ij/ Oct., 1789. 

I. 

Wow, but your letter made me 

vauntie ! 
And are ye hale, and weel, and 

cantie? 
I kend it still, your wee bit jauntie 

Wad bring ye to : 
Lord send you ay as weel 's I want ye, 
And then ye '11 do ! 



II. 

The Ill-Thief blaw the Heron south. 
And never drink be near his drouth ! 
He tauld mysel by word o' mouth. 

He 'd tak my letter : 
I lippen'd to the chiel in trowth. 

And bade nae better. 



III. 

But aiblins honest Master Heron 
Had at the time some dainty fair one 
To ware his theologic care on 

And holy study. 
And, tired o' sauls to waste his lear on. 

E'en tried the body. 



IV. 

But what d' ye think, my trusty fier ? 
I 'm turned a ganger — Peace be here! 
Parnassian queires, I fear, I fear. 

Ye '11 now disdain me, 
And then my fifty pounds a year 

Will little gain me! 



TO A GENTLEMAN. 



159 



Ye glaikit, gleesome, dainty damies, 
Wha by Castalia's wimplin streamies 
Lowp, sing, and lave your pretty 
limbies, 

Ye ken, ye ken, 
That Strang necessity supreme is 

'Mang sons o^ men. 

VI. 

I hae a wife and twa wee laddies ; 
They maun hae brose and brats o' 

duddies : 
Ye ken yoursels my heart right proud 
is — 

I need na vaunt — 
But I '11 sned besoms, thraw saugh 
woodies, 

Before they want. 

VII. 

Lord help me thro' this warld o' care! 
I 'm weary — sick o 't late and air! 
Not but I hae a richer share 

Than monie ithers ; 
But why should ae man better fare, 

And a' men brithers ? 

VIII. 

Come, firm Resolve, take thou the van, 
Thou stalk o' carl-hemp in man! 
And let us mind, faint heart ne'er wan 

A lady fair : 
Wha does the utmost that he can 

Will whyles do mair. 

IX. 

But to conclude my silly rhyme 

(I 'm scant o' verse and scant o' time) : 

To make a happy fireside clime 

To weans and wife, 
That 's the true pathos and sublime 

Of human life. 

X. 

My compliments to sister Beckie, 
And eke the same to honest Lucky : 



I wat she is a daintie chuckle 
As e'er tread clay : 

And gratefully, my guid auld cockie, 
I 'm yours for ay. 

Robert Burns. 



TO A GENTLEMAN 

WHO HAD SENT A NEWSPAPER, AND 
OFFERED TO CONTINUE IT FREE 
OF EXPENSE. 

[Probably Peter Stuart of the London 
" Star." The lines were published in Cur- 
rie, 1800.] 

Kind Sir, I've read your paper 

through. 
And faith, to me 't was really new! 
How guessed ye, Sir, what maist I 

wanted ? 
This monie a day I Ve grain'd and 

gaunted. 
To ken what French mischief was 

brewin ; 
Or what the drumlie Dutch were doin ; 
That vile doup-skelper. Emperor Jo- 
seph, 
If Venus yet had got his nose off; 
Or how the collieshangie works 
Atween the Russians and the Turks ; 
Or if the Swede, before he halt. 
Would play anither Charles the Twalt ; 
If Denmark, any body spak o 't ; 
Or Poland, wha had now the tack o 't ; 
How cut-throat Prussian blades were 

hingin ; 
How libbet Italy was singing ; 
If Spaniard, Portuguese, or Swiss 
Were sayin or takin aught amiss ; 
Or how our merry lads at hame 
In Britain's court kept up the game : 
How royal George — the Lord leuk 

o'er him ! — 
Was managing St. Stephen's quorum ; 
If sleekit Chatham Will was livin, 
Or glaikit Charlie got his nieve in ; 
How Daddie Burke the plea was 

cookin ; 
If Warren Hastings' neck was yeuVin ; 



i6o 



TO PETER STUART.— TO JOHN MAXWELL, ESQ. 



How cesses, stents, and fees were 

rax'd, 
Or if bare arses yet were taxM ; 
The news o' princes, dukes, and earls, 
Pimps, sharpers, baw^ds, and opera- 
girls ; 
It that daft buckie, Geordie Wales, 
Was threshin still at hizzies' tails ; 
Or if he was grown oughtlins douser, 
And no a perfect kintra cooser : 
A^ this and mair I never heard of, 
And, but for you, I might despair^ of. 
So, gratefu', back your news I send 

you. 
And pray a' guid things may attend 
you! 

Ellisland, Monday Morning, 



TO PETER STUART. 

[The post-office authorities were evi- 
dently remiss in their duties, and the poet 
missed his paper.] 

Dear Peter, dear Peter, 

We poor sons of metre 
Are often negleckit, ye ken : 

For instance your sheet, man 

(Tho' glad I 'm to see -t, man), 
I get it no ae day in ten. 



TO JOHN MAXWELL, ESQ., 
OF TERRAUGHTIE, 

ON HIS BIRTH-DAY. 

Qohn Maxwell, Esq., of Terraughty 
and Munches. He died in 1814, aged 94.J 



Health to the Maxwells' vet'ran 

Chief ! 
Health ay unsour'd by care or grief ! 
Inspired, I turn'd Fate's sibyl leaf 
This natal morn : 



I see thy life is stuff o' prief, 

Scarce quite half- worn. 



II. 

This day thou metes threescore 

eleven. 
And I can tell that bounteous Heaven 
(The second sight, ve ken, is given 

To ilka Poet) 
On thee a tack o' seven times seven, 

Will yet bestow it. 



in. 

If envious buckles view wi' sorrow 
Thy lengthen^ days on thy blest 

morrow. 
May Desolation's lang-teethM har- 
row, 

Nine miles an' hour. 
Rake them, hke Sodom and Go- 
morrah, 

In brunstane stoure ! 



IV. 

But for thy friends, and they are 

monie, 
Baith honest men and lasses bonie, 
May couthie Fortune, kind and can- 
nie 

In social glee, 
Wi' mornings blythe and e'enings 
funny 

Bless them and thee ! 



Fareweel, auld birkie ! Lord be near 

ye? 

And then the Deil, he daurna steer 

ye ! 
Your friends ay love, your foes ay 
fear ye ! 

For me, shame fa' me, 
If neist my heart I dinna wear ye. 

While Burns they ca' me ' 



TO WILLIAM STEWART. — TO COLLECTOR MITCHELL. 



i6i 



TO WILLIAM STEWART. 

[" Honest Bacon " was landlord of the 
inn at Brownhill, and a relative of Stewart, 
who was factor at Closeburn, hard by.] 

In honest Bacon's ingle-neuk 

Here maun I sit and think, 
Sick o' the warld and warld's folk, 

An' sick, damn'd sick, o' drink ! 
I see, I see there is nae help, 

But still doun I maun sink. 
Till some day laigh enough I yelp : — 

' Wae worth that cursed drink ! ' 
Yestreen, alas ! I was sae fu' 

I could but yisk and wink ; 
And now, this day, sair, sair I rue 

The weary, weary drink. 
Satan, I fear thy sooty claws, 

I hate thy brunstane stink, 
And ay I curse the luckless cause — 

The wicked soup o' drink. 
In vain I would forget my woes 

In idle rhyming clink. 
For, past redemption damn'd in 
prose, 

I can do nought but drink. 
To you my trusty, well-tried friend, 

May heaven still on you blink ! 
And may your life flow to the end. 

Sweet as a dry man's drink ! 



INSCRIPTION TO MISS GRA- 
HAM OF FINTRY. 

[Daughter of Burns's patron in the de- 
partment of the Customs. Published by 
Currie, 1800.] 

I. 

Here, where the Scottish Muse im- 
mortal lives 
In sacred strains and tuneful num- 
bers join'd. 
Accept the gift ! Though humble he 
who gives. 
Rich is the tribute of the grateful 



mind. 



II. 

So may no ruffian feeling in thy 
breast, 
Discordant, jar thy bosom-chords 
among ! 
But peace attune thy gentle soul to 
rest, 
Or Love ecstatic wake his seraph- 
song ! 

III. 
Or Pity's notes in luxury of tears. 
As modest Want the tale of woe 
reveals ; 
While conscious Virtue all the strain 
endears. 
And heaven-born Piety her sanc- 
tion seals ! 

Robert Burns. 
Dumfries, 31^^? January^ 1794. 



REMORSEFUL APOLOGY. 

[Probably Mrs. Walter Riddell is the 
lady addressed.] 

I. 

The friend whom, wild from Wis- 
dom's way, 
The fumes of wine infuriate send 
(Not moony madness more astray). 
Who but deplores that hapless 
friend ? 

II. 

Mine was th' insensate, frenzied part — 
Ah ! why should I such scenes 
outlive? 

Scenes so abhorrent to my heart ! 
'T is thine to pity and forgive. 



TO COLLECTOR MITCHELL. 

[Burns was on very friendly terms with 
Mitchell, and often sent him first drafts for 
criticism.] 



Friend of the Poet, tried and leal, 
Wha wanting thee might beg or 
steal ; 



M 



1 62 



TO COLONEL DE PEYSTER. 



Alake, alake, the meikle Deil 
Wi' a' his witches 

Are at it, skelpin jig an' reel 

In my poor pouches ! 

II. 

I modestly fu' fain wad hint it, 
That One-pound-one, I sairly want it ; 
If wi' the hizzie down ye sent it. 

It wad be kind ; 
And while my heart wi' life-blood 
dunted, 

^ M bearH in mind ! 

III. 

So may the old year gang out moanin 
To see the New come laden, groanin 
Wi' double plenty o'er the loanin 

To thee and thine : 
Domestic peace and comforts crownin 

The hale design ! 

Postscript. 

IV. 

Ye Ve heard this while how I Ve been 

licket, 
And by fell Death was nearly nicket : 
Grim loon ! He got me by the 
fecket, 

And sair me sheuk ; 
But by guid luck I lap a wicket, 
And turned a neuk. 

V. 

But by that health, I Ve got a share 

And by that life, I 'm promised mair 

o't, 
My hale and weel, I '11 tak a care o 't, 

A tentier way ; 
Then farewell Folly, hide and hair o 't. 
For ance and ay ! 



TO COLONEL DE PEYSTER. 

[Colonel Arentz Schuyler de Peyster was 
descended from a Huguenot family settled 



in America, and served with distinction in 
the American war. He was colonel of the 
Dumfries Volunteers.] 

I. 

My honor'd Colonel, deep I feel 
Your interest in the Poet^s weal : 
Ah ! now sma' heart hae I to speel 

The steep Parnassus, 
Surrounded thus by bolus pill 

And potion glasses. 

II. 

O, what a canty world were it, 
Would pain and care and sickness 

spare it, 
And Fortune favor worth and merit 

* As they deserve. 
And ay a rowth — roast-beef and 
claret ! — 

Syne, wha wad starve ? 

III. 

Dame Life, tho' fiction out may trick 

her, 
And in paste gems and frippery deck 

her. 
Oh ! flickering, feeble, and unsicker 

I Ve found her still : 
Ay wavering, like the willow- wicker, 
'T ween good and ill ! 

IV. 

Then that curst carmagnole, Auld 

Satan, 
Watches, like baudrons by a ratton, 
Our sinfu^ saul to get a claut on 

Wi' felon ire ; 
Syne, whip ! his tail ye Ul ne^er cast 
saut on — 

-He's aff like fire. 



Ah Nick ! Ah Nick ! it is na fair, 
First showing us the tempting ware, 
Bright wines and bonie lasses rare, 



To put us daft ; 



TO MISS JESSIE LEWARS. — INSCRIPTION. 



163 



Syne weave, unseen, thy spicier si 
O' HelPs damned watt 



snare 

f 



VI. 



Poor Man, the flie, aft bizzes by, 
And aft, as chance he comes thee 

nigh, 
Thy damn'd auld elbow yeuks wi' 
joy 

And hellish pleasure, 
Already in thy fancy's eye 

Thy sicker treasure ! 

VII. 

Soon, heels o'er gowdie, in he gangs, 
And, like a sheep-head on a tangs, 
Thy girnin laugh enjoys his pangs 

And murdering wrestle. 
As, dangling in the wind, he hangs 

A gibbet's tassle. 

VIII. 

But lest you think I am uncivil 

To plague you with this draunting 

drivel. 
Abjuring a' intentions evil, 
I quat my pen : 
The Lord preserve us frae the Devil 
Amen! Amen! 



TO MISS JESSIE LEWARS. 

[On a copy of the "Scots Musical Mu- 
seum," in four volumes, presented to her 
by Burns.] 

Thine be the volumes, Jessie fair. 
And with them take the Poet's 

prayer : 
That Fate may in her fairest page. 
With evry kindliest, best presage 
Of future bliss enrol thy name ; 
With native worth, and spotless 

fame. 
And wakeful caution, still aw^are 
Of ill — but chief Man's felon snare! 
All blameless joys on earth we find, 



And all the treasures of the mind — 
These be thy guardian and reward ! 
So prays thy faithful friend, the Bard. 

Robert Burns. 

Jime 2.6th, 1796. 



INSCRIPTION 

WRITTEN ON THE BLANK LEAF OF A 
COPY OF THE LAST EDITION OF MY 
POEMS; PRESENTED TO THE LADY 
WHOM, IN SO MANY FICTITIOUS REV- 
ERIES OF PASSION, BUT WITH THE 
MOST ARDENT SENTIMENTS OF REAL 
FRIENDSHIP, I HAVE SO OFTEN SUNG 
UNDER THE NAME OF CHLORIS. 

[The lady was Miss Jean Lorimer, daugh- 
ter of a farmer residing a little distance from 
Dumfries.] 



T IS Friendship's pledge, my young, 
fair Friend, 

Nor thou the gift refuse ; 
Nor wdth unwdlling ear attend 

The moralising Muse. 



II. 

Since thou in all thy youth and 
charms 
Must bid the world adieu 
(A world 'gainst peace in constant 
arms). 
To join the friendly few ; 

III. 

Since, thy gay morn of life o'ercast, 
Chill came the tempest's lour 

(And ne'er Misfortune's eastern blast 
Did nip a fairer flower) ; 

IV. 

Since life's gay scenes must charm no 
more : 
Still much is left behind.. 



164 



PROLOGUE FOR MR. WOODS. 



Still nobler wealth hast thou in store — 
The comforts of the mind! 



Thine is the self-approving glow 
Of conscious honoris part ; 

And (dearest gift of Heaven below) 
Thine Friendship's truest heart ; 



VI. 

The joys refined of sense and taste. 
With every Muse to rove : 

And doubly were the Poet blest, 
These joys could he improve. 

Uiie Bagatelle de VAmitie, 

COILA. 



THEATRICAL PIECES. 



PROLOGUE 

SPOKEN BY MR. WOODS ON HIS BENE- 
FIT NIGHT, MONDAY, i6tH APRIL, 
1787. 

[Burns's interest in Woods was probably 
quickened by the player's friendship with 
Fergusson, who in his Last Will bequeaths 
him his Shakespeare.] 

When by a generous Public's kind 
acclaim 

That dearest need is granted — 
honest fame ; 

When here your favour is the actor's 
lot, 

Nor even the man in private life for- 
got ; 

What breast so dead to heavenly 
Virtue's glow 

But heaves impassion^ with the 
grateful throe ? 

Poor is the task to please a barbVous 

throng: 
It needs no Siddons's powers in 

Southern's song. 
But here an ancient nation, fam'd 

afar 
For genius, learning high, as great in 

war. 
Hail, Caledonia, name for ever dear ! 
Before whose sons I 'm honored to 

appear ! 



Where every science, every nobler 

art, 
That can inform the mind or mend 

the heart. 
Is known (as grateful nations oft 

have found). 
Far as the rude barbarian marks the 

bound ! 
Philosophy, no idle pedant dream. 
Here holds her search by heaven- 
taught Reason's beam ; 
Here History paints with elegance 

and force 
The tide of Empire's fluctuating 

course ; 
Here Doitf^las forms wild Shakspeare 

into plan, 
And Harley rouses all the God in 

man. 
When well-form'd taste and sparkling 

wit unite 
With manly lore, or female beauty 

bright 
(Beauty, where faultless symmetry 

and grace 
Can only charm us in the second 

place). 
Witness my heart, how oft with pant- 
^ ing fear. 
As on this night, I Ve met these 

judges here ! 
But still the hope Experience taught 

to live : 
Equal to judge, you 're candid to for- 
give. 



PROLOGUE SPOKEN AT THE THEATRE OF DUMFRIES. 



165 



No hundred-headed Riot here we 

meet, 
With Decency and Law beneath his 

feet ; 
Nor Insolence assumes fair Freedom's 

name : 
Like Caledonians you applaud or 

blame ! 

O Thou, dread Power, Whose empire- 

o^ivino: hand 
Has oft been stretch'd to shield the 

honor'd land! 
Strong may she glow with all her 

ancient fire ; 
May every son be w^orthy of his sire ; 
Firm may she rise, with generous dis- 
dain 
At Tyranny's, or direr Pleasure's 

chain ; 
Still self-dependent in her native 

shore. 
Bold may she brave grim Danger's 

loudest roar, 
Till Fate the curtain drop on worlds 

to be no more ! 



PROLOGUE SPOKEN AT THE 
THEATRE OF DUMFRIES, 

ON NEW YEAR'S DAY EVENING, I79O. 

[Of this Prologue Burns writes to " Mr. 
George Sutherland, Player, Dumfries." 
" The enclosed verses are very incorrect 
. . . but if they can be of any service to Mr. 
Sutherland and his friends I shall kiss my 
hands to my Lady Muse, and own myself 
much her debtor."] 

No song nor dance I bring from yon 

great city 
That queens it o'er our taste — the 

more *s the pity ! 
Tho', by the bye, abroad why will you 

roam ? 
Good sense and taste are natives here 

at home. 
But not for panegyric I appear : 
I come to wish you all a good New 

Year ! 



Old Father Time deputes me here 

before ye, 
Not for to preach, but tell his simple 

story. 
The sage, grave Ancient cough'd, and 

bade me say : 
^ You 're one year older this important 

day.' 
If wiser too — he hinted some sug- 
gestion, 
But *t would be rude, you know, to ask 

the question ; 
And with a would-be-roguish leer and 

wink 
He bade me on you press this one 

word — Think I 

Ye sprightly youths, quite flush 

with hope and spirit. 
Who think to storm the world by dint 

of merit. 
To you the dotard has a deal to say. 
In his sly, dry, sententious, proverb 

way ! 
He bids you mind, amid your thought- 
less rattle. 
That the first blow is ever half the 

battle ; 
That, tho' some by the skirt may try 

to snatch him ; 
Yet by the forelock is the hold to 

catch him ; 
That, whether doing, suffering, or 

forbearing. 
You may do miracles by persevering. 

Last, tho* not least in love, ye youth- 
ful fair. 

Angelic forms, high Heaven's pecul- 
iar care I 

To you old Bald-Pate smoothes his 
wrinkled brow. 

And humbly begs you 11 mind the 
important — Now ! 

To crowm your happiness he asks your 
leave. 

And offers bliss to give and to receive. 

For our sincere, tho' haply weak 
endeavours, 



1 66 



SCOTS PROLOGUE FOR MRS. SUTHERLAND. 



With grateful pride we own your many 

favours ; 
And howsoe'er our tongues may ill 

reveal it. 
Believe our glowing bosoms trulv 

feel it. 



SCOTS PROLOGUE FOR MRS. 
SUTHERLAND, 

ON HER BENEFIT NIGHT AT THE 
THEATRE, DUMFRIES, MARCH 3D, 
1790. 

[This Prologue has been hitherto desig- 
nated as for Mr. Sutherland, but that it w as 
for his wife is proved, first by an unpub- 
lished letter to Mrs. Dunlop : " The follow- 
ing is a Prologue I made for his wife ; " and 
second by a humorous letter (unpublished) 
to Provost Staig, Dumfries, in which Burns 
states that Sutherland had asked him for 
a Prologue for Mrs. Sutherland's benefit ; 
night. — Centenary Edition.] 

What needs this din about the town 

o' Lon'on, 
How this new play an' that new song 

is comin? 
Why is outlandish stuff sae meikle 

courted? , 

Does Nonsense mend like brandy — | 

when imported? | 

Is there nae poet, burning keen for j 

fame. 
Will bauldly try to gie us plays at 

hame? 
For Comedy abroad he need na toil : 
A knave and fool are plants of every 

soil. 
Nor need he stray as far as Rome or 

Greece 
To gather matter for a serious piece : 
There 's themes enow in Caledonian 

story 
Would show the tragic Muse in a' 

her glory. 

Is there no daring Bard will rise and 
tell 



How glorious Wallace stood, how 

hapless fell? 
Where are the Muses tied that could 

produce 
A drama worthy o" the name o' Bruce? 
How here, even here, he first un- 

sheath'd the sword 
'Gainst mighty England and her 

guilty lord. 
And after monie a bloody, deathless 

doing. 
Wrench'd his dear country from the 

jaws of Ruin! 
O, for a Shakespeare, or an Otway 

scene 
To paint the lovely, hapless Scottish 

Queen ! 
Vain all th' omnipotence of female 

charms 
'Gainst headlong, ruthless, mad Re- 
bellion's arms I 
She fell, but fell with spirit truly 

Roman, 
To glut the vengeance of a rival 

woman : 
A woman (tho' the phrase may seem 

uncivil ) 
As able — and as cruel — as the 

Devil ! 
One Douglas lives in Home's immor- 
tal page. 
But Douglasses were heroes every 

age ; 
And tho* your fathers, prodigal of 

life, 
A Douglas followed to the martial 

strife. 
Perhaps, if bowls row right, and Right 

succeeds. 
Ye yet may follow where a Douglas 

leads ! 

' As ye hae generous done, if a' the 

land 
W^ould take the Muses' servants by 

the hand ; 
Not only hear, but patronize, befriend 

them. 
And where ye justly can commend, 

commend them ; 



THE RIGHTS OP WOMAN. 



167 



And aiblins, when they winna stand 

the test, 
Wink hard, and say : ' The folks hae 

done their best ! ' 
Would 3.' the land do this, then 1 11 

be caition 
Ye '11 soon hae Poets o' the Scottish 

nation 
Will gar Fame blaw until her trumpet 

crack, 
And warsle Time, an' lay him on his 

back ! 

For us and for our stage, should onie 

spier : — 
' Whase aught thae chiels maks a' 

this bustle here?' 
My best leg foremost, I '11 set up my 

brow : — 
^We have the honor to belono^ to 



you 



f ' 



We 're your ain bairns, e'en guide us 

as ye like, 
But like good mithers, shore before 

ye strike ; 
And gratefu' still I trust ye '11 ever 

find us 
For gen'rous patronage and meikle 

kindness 
We 've got frae a' professions setts an' 

ranks : 
God help us ! we 're but poor — ye 'se 

get but thanks! 



THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN. 

An Occasional Address, 

SPOKEN BY MISS FONTENELLE ON 
HER BENEFIT NIGHT NOVEMBER 
26, 1792. 

[Sent to Miss Fontenelle in a compli- 
mentary letter, in which the poet writes: 
" Your charms as a woman would secure ap- 
plause to the most indifferent actress, and 
your theatrical talents would secure admira- 
tion to the plainest figure." She played in 
America under the name of Mrs. Wilkin- 



son, and died in Charleston, S, C, of yellow 
fever, September, 1800.] 

While Europe's eye is fix'd on 
mighty things, 

The fate of empires and the fall of 
kings ; 

While quacks of State must each pro- 
duce his plan, 

And even children lisp the Rights of 
Man; 

Amid this mighty fuss just let me 
mention, 

The Rights of Woman merit some 
attention. 

First, in the sexes' intermix'd connex- 
ion 

One sacred Right of Woman is Pro- 
tection : 

The tender flower, that lifts its head 
elate. 

Helpless must fall before the blasts of 
fate. 

Sunk on the earth, defac'd its lovely 
form. 

Unless your shelter ward th' impend- 
ing storm. 

Our second Right — but needless here 

is caution — 
"To keep that right inviolate 's the 

fashion : 
Each man of sense has it so full before 

him. 
He 'd die before he 'd wrong it — 't is 

Decorum ! 
There was, indeed, in far less polish'd 

days, 
A time, when rough rude Man had 

naughty ways : 
Would swagger, swear, get drunk, 

kick up a riot, 
Nay, even thus invade a lady's quiet ! 
Now, thank our stars ! these Gothic 

times are fled ; 
Now, well-bred men — and you are all 

well-bred — 
Most justly think (and we are much 

the gainers) 



i68 



ADDRESS FOR MISS FONTENELLE. 



Such conduct neither spirit, wit, nor 
manners. 

For Right the third, our last, our best, 
our dearest : 

That right to fluttering female hearts 
the nearest, 

Which even the Rights of Kings, in 
low prostration, 

Most humbly own — 't is dear, dear 
Admiration ! 

In that blest sphere alone we live and 
move ; 

There taste that life of life — Immor- 
tal Love. 

Smiles, glances, sighs, tears, fits, flirta- 
tions, airs — 

'Gainst such an host what flinty sav- 
age dares? 

When awful Beauty joins with all her 
charms. 

Who is so rash as rise in rebel arms ? 

But truce with kings, and truce with 
constitutions. 

With bloody armaments and revolu- 
tions ; 

Let Majesty your first attention sum- 
mon : 

Ah! qairal the Majesty of Woman! 



ADDRESS 

SPOKEN BY MISS FONTENELLE ON 
HER BENEFIT NIGHT, DECEMBER 
4TH, 1793, AT THE THEATRE, DUM- 
FRIES. 

Still anxious to secure your partial 

favor. 
And not less anxious, sure, this night 

than ever, 
A Prologue, Epilogue, or some such 

matter, 
T would vamp my bill, said I, if notli- 

ing better : 
So sought a Poet roosted near the 

skies ; 
Told him I came to feast my curious 

eyes; 



Said, nothing like his works was ever 

printed ; 
And last, my prologue-business slily 

hinted. 
^ Ma'am, let me tell you,' quoth my 

man of rhymes, 
^I know your bent — these are no 

laughing times : 
Can you — but. Miss, I own I have my 

fears — 
Dissolve in pause, and sentimental 

tears ? 
With laden sighs and solemn-rounded 

sentence, 
Rouse from his sluggish slumbers, fell 

Repentance? 
Paint Vengeance, as he takes his 

horrid stand, 
Waving on high the desolating brand. 
Calling the storms to bear him o'er a 

guilty land ? ' 

I could no more ! Askance the crea- 
ture eyeing : — 

' D' ye think,' said I, * this face was 
made for crying ? 

1 11 laugh, that 's poz — nay more, the 
world shall know it ; 

And so, your servant ! gloomy Master 
Poet ! ' 

Firm as my creed. Sirs, 't is my fix'd 

belief 
That Misery 's another word for 

Grief. 
I also think (so may I be a bride !) 
That, so much laughter, so much life 

enjoy'd. 

Thou man of crazy care and ceaseless 
sigh. 

Still under bleak Misfortune's blasting 
eye; 

Doom'd to that sorest task of man 
alive — 

To make three guineas do the work of 
five ; 

Laugh in Misfortune's face — the bel- 
dam witch — 

Say you '11 be merry, tho' you can't be 
rich! 



ADDRESS OF 


BEELZEBUB. 169 


Thou other man of care, the wretch 


Would'st thou be cur'd, thou silly, 


in love! 


moping elf? 


Who long with jiltish arts and airs hast 


Laugh at her follies, laue^h e'en at thy- 


strove ; 


self; 


Who, as the boughs all temptingly 


Learn to despise those frowns now so 


project, 


terrific, 


Measur^st in desperate thought — a 


And love a kinder : that 's your grand 


rope — thy neck — 


specific. 


Or, where the beetling cliff o'erhangs 




the deep, 


To sum up all : be merry, I advise ; 


Peerest to meditate the healing 


And as we 're merry, may we still be 


leap: 


wise I 



POLITICAL PIECES. 



ADDRESS OF BEELZEBUB 

To the Right Honorable the Earl of 
Breadalbane, President of the Right Honor- 
able the Highland Society, which met on the 
23rd of May last, at the Shakespeare, Covent 
Garden, to concert ways and means to frus- 
trate the designs of five hundred Highland- 
ers who, as the Society were informed by 
Mr. M'Kenzie of Applecross, were so auda- 
cious as to attempt an escape from their 
lawful lords and masters whose property 
they were, by emigrating from the lands of 
Mr. Macdonald of Glengary to the wilds of 
Canada, in search of that fantastic thing — 
Liberty. 

[" Highlanders in those days wanted to 
emigrate, the chiefs wanted them to stay at 
home. The parts have long been inverted." 
— Andrew Lang.] 

Long life, my lord, an' health be yours, 
UnskaithM by hunger^ Highland 

boors! 
Lord grant nae duddie, desperate beg- 
gar, 
Wi' dirk, claymore, or rusty trigger, 
May twin auld Scotland o' a life 
She likes — as lambkins like a knife ! 

Faith! you and Applecross were right 
To keep the Highland hounds in sight! 
I doubt na! they wad bid nae better 
Than let them ance out owre the water! 
Then up amang thae lakes and seas. 
They '11 mak what rules and laws they 
please : 



Some daring Hancock, or a Franklin, 
May set their Highland bluid a-ranklin ; 
Some Washington again may head 

them. 
Or some Montgomerie, fearless, lead 

them : 
Till (God knows what may be effected 
When by such heads and hearts 

directed) 
Poor dunghill sons of dirt an' mire 
May to Patrician rights aspire ! 
Nae sage North now, nor sager Sack- 

ville, 
To watch and premier owre the pack 

vile! 
An' whare will ye get Howes and 

Clintons 
To bring them to a right repentance? 
To cowe the rebel generation, 
An' save the honor o' the nation ? 
They, an' be damn'd! what right hae 

they 
To meat or sleep or light o' day. 
Far less to riches, pow'r, or freedom, 
But what your lordship likes to gie 

them? 

But hear, my lord! Glengary, hear! 
Your hand 's owre light on them, I fear : 
Your factors, grieves, trustees, and bail- 
ies, 
I canna say but they do gaylies : 
They lay aside a' tender mercies, 
An' tirl the huUions to the birses. 



170 



BIRTHDAY ODE. 



Yet while theyVe only poind and 

herriet. 
They '11 keep their stubborn Highland 

spirit. 
But smash them! crush them a' to 

spails. 
An' rot the dyvors i' the jails ! 
The young dogs, swinge them to the 

labour : 
Let wark an' hunger mak them sober! 
The hizzies, if they *re aughtlins faw- 

sont, 
Let them in Drury Lane be lesson'd ! 
An' if the wives an' dirty brats 
Come thiggin at your doors an' yetts, 
Flaffin wi' duds an' grey wi' beas', 
Frighten awa your deuks an' geese, 
Get out a horsewhip or a jowler. 
The langest thong, the fiercest growler, 
An' gar the tatter'd gypsies pack 
Wi' a' their bastards on their back! 

Go on, my Lord! I lang to meet you. 
An' in my ' house at hame ' to greet you. 
Wi' common lords ye shanna mingle : 
The benmost neuk beside the ingle. 
At my right han' assigned your seat 
'Tween Herod's hip an' Poly crate. 
Or (if you on your station tarrow) 
Between Almagro and Pizarro, 
A seat, I 'm sure ye 're weel deservin 't ; 
An' till ye come — your humble ser- 
vant. 



Beelzebub. 



Hell, 

1st yune, Anno Mundi 5790. 



BIRTHDAY ODE FOR 31ST 
DECEMBER, 1787. 

["This piece has a melancholy interest. 
The greatest of Scottish poets wrote the 
last Birthday Ode for the last hope of the 
Stuart line. In a month the king was dead." 
— Andrew Lang.] 

Afar the illustrious Exile roams, 
Whom kingdoms on this day 
should hail, 
An inmate in the casual shed. 
On transient pity's bounty fed, 



Haunted by busv Memory's bitter 
tale ! 
Beasts of the forest have their 
savage homes. 
But He, who should imperial 
purple wear. 
Owns not the lap of earth where rests 
his royal head : 
His wretched refuge dark despair. 
While ravening wrongs and woes 

pursue. 
And distant far the faithful few 
Who would his sorrows share ! 

False flatterer, Hope, away, 

Nor think to lure us as in days 
of yore ! 
We solemnize this sorrowing natal 
day, 
To prove our loyal truth — we 
can no more — 
And, owning Heaven's mysterious 
sway. 
Submissive, low, adore. 
Ye honor'd, mighty Dead, 

Who nobly perish'd in the glori- 
ous cause, 
Your King, your Country, and 
her laws : 
From great Dundee, who smiling 

Victory led 
And fell a Martyr in her arms 
(What breast of northern ice but 

warms !), 
To bold Balmerino's undying name, 
Whose soul of fire, lighted at Heav- 
en's high flame. 
Deserves the proudest wreath de- 
parted heroes claim ! 

Not unrevenged your fate shall lie. 

It only lags, the fatal hour : 
Your blood shall with incessant cry 
Awake at last th' unsparing 
Power. 
As from the cliff, with thundering 
course. 
The snowy ruin smokes along 
With doubling speed and gathering 
forcej 



ODE TO THE DEPARTED REGENCY BILL. 



171 



Till deep it, crushing, whelms the 
cottage in the vale, 
So Vengeance' arm, ensanguined, 
strong, 
Shall with resistless might assail. 
Usurping Brunswick's pride shall 

And Stewart's wrongs and yours with 
tenfold weight repay. 

Perdition, baleful child of night. 
Rise and revenge the injured right 

Of Stewart's royal race I 
Lead on the unmuzzled hounds of 

Hell, 
Till all the frighted echoes tell 

The blood-notes of the chase ! 
Full on the quarry point their view, 
Full on the base usurping crew, 
The tools of faction and the nation's 
curse ! 

Hark how the cry grows on the 

wind ; 
They leave the lagging gale be- 
hind ; 
Their savage fury, pityless, they 

pour ; 
With murdering eyes already they 

devour ! 
See Brunswick spent, a wretched 

prey. 
His life one poor despainng day. 
Where each avenging hour still ushers 

in a worse ! 
Such Havoc, howling all abroad. 

Their utter ruin bring. 
The base apostates to their God 

Or rebels to their Kino^ ! 



ODE TO THE DEPARTED 
REGENCY BILL. 

[Fox insisted on a regency during the 
insanity of George IIL Pitt opposed. In 
the meantime the king began to recover.] 

Daughter of Chaos' doting years. 
Nurse of ten thousand hopes and 
fears ! 



Whether thy airy, unsubstantial shade 
(The rights of sepulture now duly 

paid) 
Spread abroad its hideous form 
On the roaring civil storm. 
Deafening din and warring rage 
Factions wild with factions wage ; 
Or Underground 
Deep-sunk, profound 
Among the demons of the earth, 
With groans that make 
The mountains shake 
Thou mourn thy ill-starr'd blighted 

birth ; 
Or in the uncreated Void, 

Where seeds of future being fight, 

With lightened step thou wander 

wide 

To greet thy mother — Ancient 

Night — 

And as each jarring monster-mass is 

past, 
Fond recollect what once thou wast : 
In manner due, beneath this sacred 

oak. 
Hear, Spirit, hear ! thy presence I 
invoke ! 

By a Monarch's heaven-struck 
fate ; 

By a disunited State ; 

By a generous Prince's wrongs ; 

By a Senate's war of tongues ; 

By a Premier's sullen pride 

Louring on the changing tide ; 

By dread Thurlow's powers to 
awe — 

Rhetoric, blasphemy and law : 

By the turbulent ocean, 

A Nation's commotion ; 

By the harlot-caresses 

Of Borough addresses ; 

By days few and evil ; 

(Thy portion, poor devil!). 
By Power, Wealth, and Show — the 

Gods by men adored ; 
By nameless Poverty their Hell ab- 
horred ; 

By all they hope, by all they fear, 

Hear! and Appear I 



172 



A NEW PSALM FOR THE CHAPEL OF KILMARNOCK. 



Stare not on me, thou ghostly Power, 
Nor, grim with chained defiance, lour! 
No Babel-structure would I build 

Where, Order exiPd from his native 
sway, 
Confusion might the Regent-sceptre 
wield, 

While all would rule and none obey. 
Go to the world of Man, relate 
The story of thy sad, eventful fate ; 
And call presumptuous Hope to hear 
And bid him check his blind career ; 
And tell the sore-prest sons of Care 

Never, never to despair ! 

Paint Charles's speed on wings of fire, 
The object of his fond desire. 
Beyond his boldest hopes, at hand. 
Paint all the triumph of the Portland 

Band 
(Hark! how they lift the joy-exulting 

voice, 
And how their numerous creditors 

rejoice!) ; 
But just as hopes to warm enjoyment 

rise, 
Cry ^Convalescence!' and the vision 

flies. 

Then next pourtray a darkening twi- 
light gloom 
Eclipsing sad a gay, rejoicing morn. 
While proud Ambition to th' un- 
timely tomb 
By gnashing, grim, despairing fiends 
is borne ! 
Paint Ruin, in the shape of high 
Dundas 
Gaping with giddy terror o'er the 
brow : 
In vain he struggles, the Fates behind 
him press, 
And clamorous Hell yawns for her 
prey below! 
How fallen That, whose pride late 

scaled the skies ! 
And This, like Lucifer, no more to rise ! 
Again pronounce the powerful word : 
See Day, triumphant from the night, 
restored! 



Then know this truth, ye Sons ot 
Men 

(Thus ends thy moral tale) : 
Your darkest terrors may be vain, 

Your brightest hopes may fail! 



A NEW PSALM FOR THE 
CHAPEL OF KILMARNOCK, 

on the thanksgtving-day for his 
majesty's recovery. 

[Thursday, April 23, was appointed a 
day of solemn thanksgiving for the recovery 
of the king. Burns looked on the " whole 
business as a solemn farce of pageant 
mummery," and composed this parody.] 



O, SING a new song to the Lord! 

Make, all and every one, 
A joyful noise, ev'n for the King 

His restoration! 



II. 

The sons of Belial in the land 
Did set their heads together. 

^Come, let us sweep them off,' said 
they, 
' Like an overflowing river! ' 

III. 

They set their heads together, I say. 
They set their heads together : 

On right, and left, and every hand. 
We saw none to deliver. 



IV. 

Thou madest string two chosen ones. 

To quell the Wicked's pride : 
That Young Man, great in Issachar, 

The burden-bearing tribe ; 

V. 

And him, among the Princes, chief 

In our Jerusalem, 
The Judge that 's mighty in Thy law. 

The man that fears Thy name. 



INSCRIBED TO THE RIGHT HON. C. J. FOX. 



^73 



VI. 



Yet they, even they with all their 
strength, 

Began to faint and fail ; 
Even as two howling, rav'ning wolves 

To dosfs do turn their tail. 



VII. 

Th' ungodly o'er the just prevailed ; 

For so Thou hadst appointed, 
That Thou might'st greater glory give 

Unto Thine own anointed! 



VIII. 

And now Thou hast restored our 
State, 

Pity our Kirk also ; 
For she by tribulations 

Is now^ brought very low ! 



IX. 

Consume that high-place. Patronage, 

From oif Thy holy hill; 
And in Thy fury burn the book 

Even of that man M^Gill ! 



Now hear our prayer, accept our song. 
And fight Thy chosen's battle! 

We seek but little, Lord, from thee : 
Thou kens we get as little ! 



INSCRIBED TO THE RIGHT 
HON. C. J. FOX. 

[" I have another poetic whim in my head, 
which I at present dedicate, or rather in- 
scribe, to the Hon. Charles J. Fox; but 
how long the fancy may hold I can't say." 
— Burns to Mrs. Dunlop.] 

How Wisdom and Folly meet, mix, 

and unite, 
How Virtue and Vice blend their black 

and their white, 



How^ Genius, th' illustrious father of 

fiction, 
Confounds rule and law, reconciles 

contradiction, 
I sing. If these mortals, the critics, 

should bustle, 
I care not, not I : let the critics go 

whistle ! 

But now for a Patron, whose name 
and whose glory 
At once may illustrate and honor my 
story : — 

Thou first of our orators, first of our 

wits, 
Yet whose parts and acquirements 

seem mere lucky hits ; 
With knowledge so vast and with 

judgment so strong, 
No man with the half of *em e'er could 

go wrong ; 
With passions so potent and fancies 

so bright, 
No man with the half of 'em e'er could 

go right ; 
A sorry, poor, misbegot son of the 

Muses, 
For using thy name, offers fifty excuses. 

Good Lord, what is Man! For as 

simple he looks, 
Do but try to develop his hooks and 

his crooks! 
With his depths and his shallows, his 

good and his evil. 
All in all he *s a problem must puzzle 

the Devil. 

On his one ruling passion Sir Pope 
hugely labors, 

That, like th' old Hebrew walking- 
switch, eats up its neighbours. 

Human Nature's his show-box — your 
friend, would you know him ? 

Pull the string. Ruling Passion — the 
picture will show him. 

What pity, in rearing so beauteous a 
system. 

One trifling particular — Truth — 
should have miss'd him! 



174 



ON GLENRIDDELL'S FOX BREAKING HIS CHAIN. 



For, spite of his fine theoretic posi- 
tions, 

Mankind is a science defies defi- 
nitions. 

Some sort all our qualities each to 

its tribe. 
And think Human Nature they truly 

describe : 
Have you found this, or t'other? 

There's more in the wind, 
As by one drunken fellow his comrades 

you '11 find. 
But such is the flaw, or the depth of 

the plan 
In the make of that wonderful creature 

called Man, 
No two virtues, whatever relation they 

claim, 
Nor even two different shades of the 

same, 
Though like as was ever twin brother 

to brother. 
Possessing the one shall imply you 've 

the other. 

But truce with abstraction, and truce 
with a Muse 

Whose rhymes you '11 perhaps. Sir, 
ne'er deign to peruse! 

Will you leave your justings, your jars, 
and your quarrels. 

Contending with Billy for proud-nod- 
ding laurels ? 

My much-honour'd Patron, believe 
your poor Poet, 

Your courage much more than your 
prudence, you show it. 

In vain with Squire Billy for laurels 
you struggle : 

He '11 have them by fair trade — if not, 
he will smuo^orle : 

Nor cabinets even of kings would con- 
ceal 'em. 

He 'd up the back-stairs, and by God 
he would steal 'em ! 

Then feats like Squire Billy's, you 
ne'er can achieve 'em ; 

It is not, out-do him — the task is, out- 
thieve him! 



ON GLENRIDDELL'S FOX 
BREAKING HIS CHAIN. 

A FRAGMENT, 1 79 1. 

[" A fragment in the manner of Prior and 
other fabuHsts of the eighteenth century. 
' The Whigs of Sparta ' had not much to do 
with the defeat of Xerxes, ' that abandoned 
Tory.' "—Andrew Lang.] 

Thou, Liberty, thou art my theme : 
Not such as idle poets dream. 
Who trick thee up a heathen goddess 
That a fantastic cap and rod has! 
Such stale conceits are poor and silly : 
I paint thee out a Highland filly, 
A sturdy, stubborn, handsome dapple, 
As sleek *s a mouse, as round's an 

apple. 
That, when thou pleasest, can do 

wonders. 
But when thy luckless rider blunders, 
Or if thy fancy should demur there. 
Wilt break thy neck ere thou go fur- 
ther. 

These things premised, I sing a 
Fox — 
Was caught among his native rocks. 
And to a dirty kennel chained — 
How he his liberty regained. 

Glenriddell I a Whig without a stam, 
A Whig in principle and grain, 
Could'st thou enslave a free-born 

creature, 
A native denizen of Nature? 
How could'st thou, with a heart so 

good 
(A better ne'er was sluiced with 

blood). 
Nail a poor devil to a tree. 
That ne^er did harm to thine or thee? 

The staunchest Whig Glenriddell 
was. 
Quite frantic in his country's cause ; 
And oft was Reynard's prison pass- 
ing, 



ODE FOR GENERAL WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY. 

\ 



175 



And with his brother-Whigs canvass- 
ing 

The rights of men, the powers of 
women, 

With all the dignity of Freemen. 

Sir Reynard daily heard debates 
Of princes^ kings\ and nations' fates 
With many rueful, bloody stories 
Of tyrants, Jacobites, and Tories : 
From liberty how angels fell. 
That now are galley-slaves in Hell ; 
How Nimrod first the trade began 
Of binding Slavery's chains on man ; 
How fell Semiramis — God damn 

her ! — 
Did first, with sacrilegious hammer 
(All ills till then were trivial matters) 
For Man dethroned forge hen-peck 

fetters ; 
How Xerxes, that abandoned Tory, 
Thought cutting throats was reaping 

glory, 
Until the stubborn Whigs of Sparta 
Taught him great Nature's Magna 

Charta ; 
How mighty Rome her fiat hurPd 
Resistless o'er a bowing world, 
And, kinder than they did desire, 
Polish'd mankind with sword and 

fire : 
With much too tedious to relate 
Of ancient and of modern date, 
But ending still how Billy Pitt 
(Unlucky boy!) with wicked wit 
Has gagg'd old Britain, drained her 

coffer. 
As butchers bind and bleed a heifer. 

Thus wily Reynard, by degrees 

In kennel listening at his ease, 

Suck'd in a mighty stock of knowl- 
edge. 

As much as some folks at a college ; 

Knew Britain's rights and constitu- 
tion. 

Her aggrandisement, diminution ; 

How Fortune wrought us good from 
evil : 

Let no man, then, despise the Devil, 



As who should say : ^ I ne'er can 
need him,' 

Since we to scoundrels owe our Free- 
dom. 



ON THE COMMEMORATION 
OF RODNEY'S VICTORY, 

king's arms, DUMFRIES, I2TH APRIL, 
1793- 

[Rodney's action off Dominica, April 12, 
1782, was for some time celebrated year by 
year. This version appeared in the Edin- 
burgh Advertiser, April 19, 1793.] 

Instead of a song, boys, I '11 give you 

a toast : 
Here's the Mem'ry of those on the 

Twelfth that we lost ! — 
We lost, did I say ? — No, by Heav'n, 

that we found ! 
For their fame it shall live while the 

world goes round. 
The next in succession I '11 give you : 

the King ! 
And who would betray him, on high 

may he swing ! 
And here's the grand fabric, our Free 

Constitution 
As built on the base of the great 

Revolution ! 
And, longer with Politics not to be 

cramm'd, 
Be Anarchy curs'd, and be Tyranny 

damn'd I 
And who would to Liberty e'er prove 

disloyal. 
May his son be a hangman — and he 

his first trial ! 



ODE FOR GENERAL WASH- 
INGTON'S BIRTHDAY. 

[" I am just going to trouble your criti- 
cal patience with the first sketch of a stanza 
I have been framing as I paced along the 
road. The subject is Liberty: you know, 



17^ 



ODE FOR GENERAL WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY. 



my honored friend, how dear the theme is 
to me. I design it as an irregular ode for 
General Washington's birthday. 
— R. B.to Mrs. Dunlop, June 25, 1794.] 

No Spartan tube, no Attic shell, 

No lyre ^olian I awake. 
'T is Liberty's bold note I swell : 

Thy harp, Columbia, let me take ! 
•See gathering thousands, while I sing, 
A broken chain, exulting, bring 
And dash it in a tyrant's face. 
And dare him to his very beard. 
And tell him he no more is fear'd, 
No more the despot of Colum- 
bia's race ! 
A tyrant's proudest insults brav'd. 
They shout a People freed ! They 
hail an Empire sav'd ! 

Where is man's godlike form? 
Where is that brow erect and 

bold, 
That eye that can unmov'd be- 
hold 
The wildest rage, the loudest storm 
That e'er created Fury dared to 

raise ? 
Avaunt ! thou caitiif, servile, base, 
That tremblest at a despot's nod, 
Yet, crouching under the iron rod. 
Canst laud the arm that struck 
th' insulting blow ! 
Art thou of man's Imperial line ? 
Dost boast that countenance divine? 
Each skulking feature answers : 
No ! 
But come, ye sons of Liberty, 
Columbia's offspring, brave as free, 
In danger's hour still flaming in the 

van, 
Ye know, and dare maintain the 
Royalty of Man! 



Alfred, on thy starry throne 

Surrounded by the tuneful choir, 
The Bards that erst have struck the 

patriot lyre. 
And rous'd the freeborn Briton's 
soul of fire. 



No more thy England own! 
Dare injured nations form the great 
design 
To make detested tyrants bleed ? 
Thy England execrates the glorious 

deed ! 
Beneath her hostile banners wav- 
ing, 
Every pang of honour braving, 
England in thunder calls : ' The 

Tyrant's cause is mine ! ' 
That hour accurst how did the fiends 

rejoice, 
And Hell thro' all her confines raise 

th' exulting voice ! 
That hour which saw the generous 

English name 
Link't with such damned deeds of 
everlasting shame ! 

Thee, Caledonia, thy wild heaths 
among, 

Fam'd for the martial deed, the 
heaven-taught song, 
To thee I turn with swimming 
eyes ! 

Where is that soul of Freedom fled ? 

Immingled with the mighty dead 
Beneath that hallow'd turf where 
Wallace lies ! 

Hear it not, Wallace, in thy bed of 
death ! 
Ye babbling winds, in silence 

sweep ! 
Disturb not ye the hero's sleep. 

Nor give the coward secret breath! 

Is this the ancient Caledonian form. 

Firm as her rock, resistless as her 
storm ? 

Show me that eye which shot immor- 
tal hate. 
Blasting the Despot's proudest bear- 
ing ! 

Show me that arm which, nerv'd with 
thundering fate, 
Crush'd Usurpation's boldest dar- 
ing ! 

Dark-quench'd as yonder sinking 
star. 

No more that glance lightens afar, 



THE FETE CHAMPETRE. 



177 



That palsied arm no more whirls on 
the waste of war. 



THE FETE CHAMPETRE. 

Tune : Killlecrankie, 

[This related to a picnic on the coming 
of age of Mr. Cunningham of Annbank, 
and was the earliest of a series of election 
ballads.] 



I. 



O, WHA will to Saint Stephen^s House, 

To do our errands there, man? 
O, wha will to Saint Stephen^s House 

O^ th' merry lads of Ayr, man ? 
Or will ye send a man o' law ? 

Or will ye send a sodger ? 
Or him wha led o^er Scotland a' 

The meikle Ursa-Major ? 



II. 



Come, will ye court a noble lord. 
Or buy a score o' lairds, man ? 
For Worth and Honour pawn their 
word, 
Their vote shall be Glencaird's, 
man. 
Ane gies them coin, ane gies them 
wine, 
Anither gies them clatter ; 
Annbank, wha guess'd the ladies' 
taste, 
He gies a Fete Champetre. 



III. 

When Love and Beauty heard the 
news 
The gay-green woods amang, man, 
Where, gathering flowers and busk- 
ing bowers. 
They heard the blackbird's sang, 
man, 
A vow, they seaPd it with a kiss, 
Sir Politics to fetter : 



As theirs alone the patent bliss 
To hold a Fete Champetre. 



IV. 

Then mounted Mirth on gleesome 
wing. 

O'er hill and dale she flew, man ; 
Ilk wimpling burn, ilk crystal spring. 

Ilk glen and shaw she knew, man. 
She summon'd every social sprite. 

That sports by wood or water. 
On th' bonie banks of Ayr to meet 

And keep this Fete Champetre. 



V. 

Cauld Boreas wi' his boisterous crew 

Were bound to stakes like kye, 
man ; 
And Cynthia's car, o' silver fu', 

Clamb up the starry sky, man : 
Reflected beams dwell in the streams. 

Or down the current shatter ; 
The western breeze steals through 
the trees 

To view this Fete Champetre. 



VI. 

How many a robe sae gaily floats. 

What sparkling jewels glance, man, 
To Harmony's enchanting notes. 

As moves the mazy dance, man! 
The echoing wood, the winding flood 

Like Paradise did glitter. 
When angels met at Adam's yett 

To hold their Fete Champetre. 

VII. 

When Politics came there to mix 

And make his ether-stane, man. 
He circled round the magic ground. 

But entrance found he nane, man : 
He blush'd for shame, he quat his 
name. 

Forswore it every letter, 
Wi' humble prayer to join and share 

This festive Fete Champetre. 



178 



THE FIVE CARLINS. 



THE FIVE CARLINS. 

Tune: Chevy Chase. 

[The Five Carlins represent the five bor- 
oughs of Dumfries-shire and Kirkcudbright. 
Dumfries is " Maggie by the banks o' Nith ; " 
Annan is " Bhnkin* Bess of Annandale;" 
Kirkcudbright " Brandy Jean of Gallo- 
way ; " Sanquhar " Black Joan frae Ctich- 
ton Peel; " and Lochmaben " Marjorie o' 
the Monie Lochs."] 



There was five carlins in the South : 

They fell upon a scheme 
To send a lad to Lon'on town 

To bring them tidings hame : 

II. 

Nor only bring them tidings hame, 
But do their errands there : 

And aiblins gowd and honor baith 
Might be that laddie's share. 

III. 

There was Maggie by the Banks o' 
Nith, 

A dame wi' pride eneugh ; 
And Marjorie o' the Monie Lochs, 

A carlin auld and teugh ; 

IV. 

And Blinkin Bess of Annandale, 
That dwelt near Solway-side ; 

And Brandy Jean, that took her gill 
In Galloway sae wide ; 

V. 

And Black Jodn frae Crichton Peel, 

O' gipsy kith an' kin : 
Five wighter carlins were na found 

The South countrie within. 

VI. 

To send a lad to London town 

They met upon a day ; 
And monie a knight and monie a laird 

This errand fain w^ad gae. 



VII. 



O. monie a knight and monie a laird 
This errand fain wad gae ; 

But nae ane could their fancy please, 
O, ne'er a ane but tway ! 



VIII. 



The first ane was a belted Knight, 

Bred of a Border band ; 
And he wad gae to London Town, 

Might nae man him withstand ; 



IX 



And he wad do their errands weel, 
And meikle he wad say ; 

And ilka ane at London court 
Wad bid to him guid-day. 



X. 



The neist cam in, a Soger boy, 
And spak wi' modest grace ; 

And he wad gae to London Town, 
If sae their pleasure was. 



XI. 



He wad na hecht them courtly gifts. 
Nor meikle speech pretend ; 

But he wad hecht an honest heart 
Wad ne'er desert his friend. 



XII. 



Now wham to chuseand wham refuse 

At strife thae carlins fell ; 
For some had gentle folk to please, 

And some wad please themsel. 



XIII. 



Then out spak mim-mou'd Meg o' Nith, 
And she spak up wi' pride, 

And she wad send the Soger lad, 
Whatever might betide. 



XIV. 



For the auld Guidman o' London court 

She didna care a pin : 
But she wad send the Soge^lad 



To greet his eldest son. 



ELECTION BALLAD EOR WESTERHA'. 



179 



XV. 



Then up sprang Bess o^ Annandale, 

And swore a deadly aith. 
Says: -I will send the belted Knight, 

Spite of you carlins baith! 



XVI. 



' For far-aff fowls hae feathers fair, 
And fools o' change are fain ; 

But I hae tried this Border Knight 
I '11 try him yet again.' 



XVII. 

Then Brandy Jean spak owre her 
drink : — 

' Ye weel ken, kimmers a'. 
The auld Guidman o' London court. 

His back 's been at the wa' ; 

XVIII. 

<And monie a friend that kiss'd his 
caup 

Is now a fremit wight ; 
But it 's ne'er be sae wi' Brandy Jean — 

I '11 send the Border Knight.' 

XIX. 

Says Black Joan frae Crichton Peel, 
A carlin stoor and grim : — 

' The auld Guidman or the 
Guidman 
For me may sink or swim ! 



young 



XX. 



' For fools will prate o' right or wrang, 

While knaves laugh in their slieve ; 

But wha blaws best the horn shall 



win 



I "11 spier nae courtier's leave 



r •> 



XXI. 



Then slow raise Alarjorie o' the Lochs, 
And wrinkled was her brow. 

Her ancient weed was russet gray. 
Her auld Scots heart was true : — 



XXII. 

' There's some great folk set light by 
me, 
I set as light by them ; 
But I will send to London town 
Wham I lo'e best at hame.' 

• 

XXIII. 

Sae how this sturt and strife may end, 

There 's naebody can tell. 
God grant the King and ilka man 

May look weel to themsel! 



ELECTION BALLAD 
WESTERHA'. 



FOR 



[In the letter to Mrs. Dunlop, enclosing 
this ballad, Burns wrote of the Duke of 
Queensberry: "His Grace is keenly at- 
tached to the Buff and Blue party ; rene- 
gades and apostates are, you know, always 
keen."] 

Up and waur them a', Jamie, 

Up and waur them a' ! 
The Johnstones hae the guidin o 't : 

Ye turncoat whigs, awa! 



The Laddies by the banks o' Nith 
Wad trust his Grace wV a', Jamie ; 

But he'll sair them as he sair'd the 
King — 
Turn tail and rin awa, Jamie. 



II. 

The day he stude his country's friend, 
Or gied her faes a claw, Jamie, 

Or frae puir man a blessin wan — 
That day the Duke ne'er saw, Jamie. 

III. 

But wha is he, his country's boast ? 

Like him there is na twa. Jamie ! 
There's no a callant tents the kye 

But kens o' Westerha', Jamie. 



i8o 



TURN-COAT WHIGS AWA, MAN. 



IV. 



here's Whistle- 



Lang 



To end the wark, 
birk — 

may his whistle blaw, 
Jamie ! — 
And Maxwell true, o' sterling blue, 
An' we '11 be Johnstones a', Jamie. 



Up and waur them a' Jamie, 

Up and waur them a'! 
The Johnstones hae the guidino't; 

Ye turncoat Whigfs awa! 



TURN-COAT WHIGS AWA, 

MAN. 

[In the following ballad, printed in the 
Chambers edition, Burns satirizes William 
Douglas, fourth Duke of Queensberry, the 
notorious " Old Q."] 

As I cam doon the banks o' Nith 
And by GlenriddelFs ha', man. 

There I heard a piper play 
Turii'Coat Whigs awa, man. 



Drumlanrig's towers hae tint the 
powers 

That kept the lands in awe, man : 
The eagle 's dead, and in his stead 

We 've gotten a hoodie-craw, man. 



The turn-coat Duke his King for- 
sook. 
When his back was at the wa', 
man : 
The rattan ran wi' a' his clan 

For fear the house should fa', man. 



The lads about the banks o' Nith, 
They trust his Grace for a', man : 

But he '11 sair them as he sair't his 
King. 
Turn tail and rin awa, man. 



ELECTION BALLAD 

AT CLOSE OF THE CONTEST FOR 
REPRESENTING THE DUMFRIES 
BURGHS, 1790. 

Addressed to Robert Graha7n of 
Fintry. 

[The ballad sent to Graham is dated 
June 10, 1790.] 



Fintry, my stay in worldly strife, 
Friend o' my Muse, friend o' my life 

Are ye as idle 's I am ? 
Come, then ! Wi' uncouth kintra fle 
O'er Pegasus 1 11 fling my leg, 

And ye shall see me try him! 



. n. 

But where shall I gae rin or ride. 
That I may splatter nane beside? 

I wad na be uncivil : 
In mankind's various paths and ways 
There 's ay some doytin body strays, 

And I ride like a devil. 

III. 

Thus I break aflf wi' a' my birr. 
An' down yon dark, deep alley spur, 

Where Theologies dander : 
Alas 1 curst wi' eternal fogs. 
And damn'd in everlasting bogs. 

As sure 's the Creed I '11 blunder ! 



IV. 

I '11 stain a band, or jaup a gown. 
Or rin my reckless, guilty crown 

Against the haly door! 
Sair do I rue my luckless fate, 
When, as the Muse an' Deil wad hae 

I rade that road before ! 

V. 

Suppose I take a spurt, and mix 
Amang the wilds o' Politics — 
Electors and elected — 



ELECTION BALLAD. 



1 81 



Where dogs at Court (sad sons o^ 

bitches !) 
Septennially a madness touches, 
Till all the land's infected? 



VI. 

All hail, Drumlanrig's haughty Grace, 
Discarded remnant of a race 

Once godhke — great in story ! 
Thy fathers' virtues all contrasted, 
The very name of Douglas blasted, 

Thine that inverted glory ! 

VII. 

Hate, envy, oft the Douglas bore ; 
But thou hast superadded more, 

And sunk them in contempt! 
Follies and crimes have stain'd the 

name ; 
But, Queensberry, thine the virgin 
claim, n 

From aught that 'sgood exempt ! 

VIII. 

I '11 sing the zeal Drumlanrig bears, 
Who left the all-important cares 

Of fiddlers.whores, and hunters. 
And, bent on buying Borough Towns, 
Came shaking hands wi' wabster- 
loons. 

And kissing barefit bunters. 

IX. 

Combustion thro' our boroughs rode. 
Whistling his roaring pack abroad 

Of mad unmuzzled lions. 
As Oueensberry buff-and-blue unfurPd, 
And Westerha' and Hopeton hurPd 

To every Whig defiance. 



X. 

But cautious Queensberry left the 

war 
(Th' unmanner'd dust might soil his 

star; 
Besides, he hated bleedino^), 



But left behind him heroes bright, 
Heroes in Caesarean fight 

Or Ciceronian pleading. 



XI. 

O, for a throat like huge Mons-Meg, 
To muster o'er each ardent Whig 

Beneath Drumlanrig's banner ! 
Heroes and heroines commix. 
All in the field of politics. 

To win immortal honor ! 



XII. 

M^Murdo and his lovely spouse 
(Th' enamour'd laurels kiss her 
brows!) 

Led on the Loves and Graces ; 
She won each gaping burgess' heart, 
While he, s?^d rosA, played his part 

Among their wives and lasses. 

XIII. 

Craigdarroch led a light-arm'd core : 
Tropes, metaphors, and figures pour, 

Like Hecla streaming thunder. 
Glenriddell, skill'd in rusty coins, 
Blew up each Tory's dark designs 

And bared the treason under. 

XIV. 

In either wing tw^o champions fought : 
Redoubted Staig, who set at nought 

The wildest savage Tory ; 
And Welsh, who ne'er yet flinch'd his 

ground, 
High-wav'd his magnum-bonum round 

With Cyclopeian fury. 

XV. 

Miller brought up th' artillery ranks. 
The many-pounders of the Banks, 

Resistless desolation ! 
While Maxwelton, that baron bold, 
'Mid Lawson's port entrench'd his 
hold 
And threaten'd worse damna- 
tion. 



1 82 



ELECTION BALLAD. 



XVI. 

To these what Tory hosts opposVl, 
With these what Tory warriors clos'd. 

Surpasses my descriving : 
Squadrons, extended long and large. 
With furious speed rush to the charge, 

Like furious devils driving. 

XVII. 

What verse can sing, what prose nar- 
rate 
The butcher deeds of bloody Fate 

Amid this mighty tulyie? 
Grim Horror girnM, pale Terror 

roarM, 
As Murther at his thrapple shor'd. 

And Hell mixM in the brulyie. 

XVIII. 

As Highland craigs by thunder cleft, 
When lightnings fire the stormy lift. 

Hurl down with crashing rattle. 
As flames among a hundred woods, 
As headlong foam a hundred floods — 

Such is the rage of Battle ! 

XIX. 

The stubborn Tories dare to die : 
As soon the rooted oaks would fly 

Before th' approaching fellers! 
The Whigs come on like Ocean's 

roar. 
When all his wintry billows pour 

Ao:ainst the Buchan Bullers. 



XX. 

Lo, from the shades of Death's deep 

night 
Departed Whigs enjoy the fight, 

And think on former daring ! 
The mufiied murtherer of Charles 
The Magna Charta flag unfurls. 

All deadly gules its bearing. 

XXI. 

Nor wanting ghosts of Tory fame : 
Bold Scrimgeour follows gallant 
Graham, 



Auld Covenanters shiver . . . 
Formve ! formve ! much-wrono'd 

Montrose ! 
Now Death and Hell engulph thy 
foes. 
Thou liv'st on high forever ! 

XXII. 

Still o'er the field the combat burns ; 
The Tories, Whigs, give way by 
turns ; 

But Fate the word has spoken ; 
For woman's wit and strength o' man, 
Alas ! can do but what they can : 

The Tory ranks are broken. 

XXIII. 

O, that my een were flowing burns ! 
My voice a lioness that mourns 

Her darling cubs' undoing 
That I might greet, that I might cry, 
►While Tories fall, w^hile Tories fly 

From furious Whigs pursuing ! 

XXIV. 

What Whig but melts for good Sir 

James, 
Dear to his country by the names. 
Friend, Patron, Benefactor ? 
Not Pulteney's wealth can Pulteney 

save ; 
And Hopeton falls — the generous, 
brave I — 
And Stewart bold as Hector. 

XXV. 

Thou, Pitt, shall rue this overthrow. 
And Thurlow growl this curse of woe. 

And Melville melt in wailing ! 
Now Fox and Sheridan rejoice. 
And Burke shall sing : — ^ O Prince, 
arise ! 

Thy power is all prevailing ! ' 

XXVI. 

For your poor friend, the Bard, afar 
He sees and hears the distant war, 

A cool spectator purely : 
So, when the storm the forest rends, 



FIRST HERON ELECTION BALLAD. 



183 



The robin in the hedge descends, 

And, patient, chirps securely. 



XXVII. 



Now, for my friends' afnd brethren's 
sak'es, 



And for my dear-lov'd Land o' 
Cakes, 
I pray with holy fire : — 
Lord, send a rough-shod troop o' 

Hell 
O'er a' wad Scotland buy or sell, 
To grind them in the mire ! 



BALLADS ON MR. HERON'S ELECTION, 1795. 



BALLAD FIRST. 

[In this election Burns warmly supported 
Mr. Heron, not merely for friendship's sake, 
but out of especial dislike to the more con- 
spicuous of his opponent's supporters.] 

I. 

Wham will we send to London town, 

To Parliament and a^ that? 
Or wha in a' the country round 
The best deserves to fa^ that ? 
For a' that, and a' that, 
Thro' Galloway and a' that, 
Where is the Laird or belted 
Knight 
That best deserves to fa' that? 



II. 

Wha sees Kerroughtree's open yett — 

And wha is 't never saw that ? — 
Wha ever wi' Kerroughtree met. 
And has a doubt of a' that ! 
For a' that, and a' that. 
Here 's Heron yet for a' that ! 
The independent patriot, 

The honest man, and a' that ! 

III. 

Tho' wit and worth, in either sex. 
Saint Mary's Isle can shaw that, 
Wi' Lords and Dukes let Selkirk mix, 
And weel does Selkirk fa' that. 
For a' that, and a' that, 
Here's Heron yet for a' that ! 



An independent commoner 
Shall be the man for a' that. 



IV. 



But why should we to Nobles jeuk, 

And it against the law, that. 
And even a Lord may be a gowk, 
Wi' ribban, star, and a' that ? 
For a' that, and a' that. 
Here 's Heron yet for a' that ! 
A Lord may be a lousy loon, 
Wi' ribban, star, and a' that. 



A beardless boy comes o'er the hills 

Wi 's uncle's purse and a' that ; 
But we '11 hae ane frae 'mang oursels, 
A man we ken, and a' that. 
For a' that, and a' that, 
Here 's Heron yet for a' that ! 
We are na to be bought and sold. 



Like nowte, 
that. 



and naigs, and a' 



VI. 



Then let us drink : — ^The Stewartry, 

Kerroughtree's laird, and a' that, 
Our representative to be ' : 
For weel he 's worthy a' that ! 
For a' that, and a' that, 
Here's Heron yet for a' that ! 
A House of Commons such as he, 
They wad be blest that saw that. 



1 84 



THE ELECTION. 



BALLAD SECOND: THE 
ELECTION. 

Tune : Fy, Let Us A to The Bridal. 

[A parody of "The Blythsome Wedding."] 



Fy. let us a' to Kirkcudbright, 

For there will be bickerin there ; 
For Murray's light horse are to mus- 
ter, 

An' O, how the heroes will sw^ear ! 
And there will be Murray commander. 

An' Gordon the battle to win : 
Like brothers, they'll stan' by each 
other, 

Sae knit in alliance and kin. 



n. 

An' there '11 be black-nebbit Johnie, 

The tongue o' the trump to them a' : 
Gin he get na Hell for his haddin. 

The Deil gets nae justice ava ! 
And there '11 be Kempleton's birkie, 

A boy no sae black at the bane ; 
But as to his fine nabob fortune — 

We '11 e'en let the subject alane ! 



III. 

An' there '11 be Wigton's new sheriff — 

Dame Justice fu' brawly has sped : 
She 's gotten the heart of a Bushby, 

But Lord I what 's become o' the 
head ? 
An' xhere '11 be Cardoness, Esquire, 

Sae mighty in Cardoness' eyes : 
A wight that will weather damnation. 

For the Devil the prey w^ould des- 
pise. 

IV. 

An' there '11 be Douglasses doughty, 
New christening towns far and 
near: 

Abjuring their democrat doings 
An' kissing the arse of a peer ! 



An' there '11 be Kenmure sae gener- 



ous. 



Wha's honor is proof to the storm -. 

To save them from stark reprobation 

He lent them his name to the firm ! 



V. 

But we winna mention Redcastle, 

The body — e'en let him escape ! 
He'd venture the gallows for siller, 

An' 't were na the cost o' the rape ! 
An' whare is our King's Lord Lieu- 
tenant, 

Sae famed for his gratefu' return ? 
The billie is getting his Questions 

To say at St. Stephen's the morn ! 

VI. 

An' there '11 be lads o' the gospel : 
Muirhead, wha's as guid as he's 
true ; 
An' there '11 be Buittle's Apostle, 
Wha *s mair o' the black than the 
blue ; 
An' there *11 be folk frae St. Mary's, 
A house o' great merit and note : 
The Deil ane but honors them highly. 
The Deil ane will gie them his 
vote ! 

VII. 

An' there '11 be wealthy young Rich- 
ard, 

Dame Fortune should hang by the 
neck : 
But for prodigal thriftless bestowing. 

His merit had won him respect 
An' there'll be rich brither nabobs ; 

Tho' nabobs, yet men o' the first ! 
An' there '11 be Collieston's whiskers. 

An' Quinton — o' lads no the warst ! 

VIII. 

An' there'll be Stamp-Office Johnie: 
Tak tent how ye purchase a dram ! 

An' there '11 be gay Cassencarry, 
An' there '11 be Colonel Tarn : 



JOHN BUSHBY'S LAMENTATION. 



18S 



An' there '11 be trusty Kerroughtree, 
Wha's honour was ever his law : 

If the virtues were packet in a parcel, 
His worth might be sample for a' ! 



IX. 

An' can we forget the auld Major, 
Wha '11 ne'er be forgot in the 
Greys ? 
Our flattVy we'll keep for some 
other : 
Him only it 's justice to praise ! 
An' there '11 be maiden Kilkerran, 
An' also Barskimming's guid 
Knight. 
An' there '11 be roaring Birtwhistle — 
Yet luckily roars in the right I 



An' there frae the Niddlesdale bor- 
der 
Will mingle the Maxwell's in 
droves : 
Teuch Johnie, Staunch Geordie, and 
Wattie 
That girns for the fishes an' 
loaves ! 
An' there '11 be Logan's M'Doual — 
Sculdudd'ry an' he will be there! 
An' also the wild Scot o' Galloway, 
Sogering, gunpowther Blair! 



XI. 

Then hey the chaste interest of 
Broughton. 
An' hey for the blessings 't will 
bring ! 
It may send Balmaghie to the Com- 
mons — 
In Sodom 't would mak him a King! 
An' hey for the sanctified Murray 

Our land wha wi' chapels has stor'd ; 
He founder'd his horse among har- 
lots, 
But gie'd the auld naig to the 
Lord! 



BALLAD THIRD. 

JOHN BUSHBY'S lamentation. 

Tune : Babes in the Wood. 

[Bushby, the son of a spirit-dealer in 
Dumfries, became a lawyer, and afterwards 
a private banker in the same town.] 

I. 

'TwAS in the Seventeen Hunder year 
O' grace, and Ninety-Five, 

That year I was the wae'est man 
Of onie man alive. 



II. 



In 



March the three-an'-tvventieth 
morn, 
The sun raise clear an' bright 
But O, I was a waefu' man, 
Ere to-fa' o' the night ! 

III. 

Yerl Galloway l^g did rule this land 

Wi' equal right and fame, 
Fast knit in chaste and holy bands 

With Broushton's noble name. 



IV. — 

Yerl Galloway's man o' men was T, 
And chief o' Broughton's host : 

So twa blind beggars, on a string, 
The faithfu' tyke will trust ! 

V. 

But now Yerl Galloway's sceptre's 
broke. 

And Broughton 's wi' the slain, 
And I my ancient craft may try, 

Sin' honesty is gane. 

VI. 

'T was by the banks o' bonie Dee, 
Beside Kirkcudbright's towers. 

The Stewart and the Murray there 
Did muster a' their powers. 



i86 



THE TROGGER. 



VII. 



Then Murray on the auld grey yaud 
Wi^ winged spurs did ride : 

That auld grey yaud a' Nidsdale rade, 
He staw upon Nidside. 



VIII. 



An' there ha na been the Yerl him- 
sel, 

O, there had been nae play! 
But Garlies was to London gane, 

And sae the kye might stray. 



IX. 

And there was Balmaghie, I ween 
In front rank he wad shine ; 

But Balmaghie had better been 
Drinkin' Madeira wine. 



X. 

And frae Glenkens cam to our aid 

A chief o' doughty deed : 
In case that worth should wanted be, 

O' Kenmure we had need. 



XI. 

And by our banners march'd Muir- 
^head. 
And Buittle was na slack, 
Whase haly priesthood nane could 
stain. 
For wdia could dye the black? 

XII. 

And there w^as grave Squire Cardo- 
ness, 

Look'd on till a' was done : 
Sae in the tower o' Cardoness 

A howlet sits at noon. 

XIII. 

And there led I the Bushby clan : 
My gamesome biliie. Will, 

And my son Maitland, wise as brave. 
My footsteps followed still. 



XIV. 



The Douglas and the Heron's name. 

We set nought to their score ; 
The Douglas and the Heron's name 

Had felt our weight before. 



XV. 

But Douglasses o' weight had we : 

The pair o' lusty lairds, 
For building cot-houses sae fam'd, 

And christenin kail-yards. 

XVI. 

And then Redcastle drew his sword 
That ne'er was stain'd wi' gore 

Save on a wand'rer lame and blind, 
To. drive him frae his door. 

XVII. 

And last cam creepin Collieston, 
Was mair in fear than wrath ; 

Ae knave was constant in his mind- 
To keep that knave frae scaith. 



BALLAD FOURTH 
TROCiGER. 



THE 



Tune : Buy Broom Besoms. 

[Written for Pleron's election for Kirkcud- 
bright. Burns died before the result was 
known. A trogger is a travelHng hawker or 
packman.] 

Chorus. 

Buy braw troggin 

Frae the banks o' Dee ! 

Wha wants troggin 
Let him come to me ! 



Wha will buy my troggin, 
Fine election ware. 

Broken trade o' Broughton, 
A' in high repair? 



THE DEAN OF THE FACULTY. 



1S7 



II. 


X. 


There ^s a nol)Ie EarPs 
Fame and high renown, 

For an aiild sang — it 's thought 
The guids were stown. 


Here 's the worth and wisdom 
Collieston can boast : 

By a thievish midge 
They had been nearly lost 


III. 


XI. 


Here's the worth 0' Broughton 

In a needle's e'e. 
Here 's a reputation 

Tint by Balmaghiec 


Here is Murray's fragments 
0' the Ten Commands, 

Gifted by Black Jock 

To get them aff his hands. 


IV. 

Here 's its stuff and lining, 
Cardoness's head — 

Fine for a soger, 
A' the wale 0' lead. 


XII. 

Saw ye e'er sic troggin?— « 
If to buy ye re slack, 

Hornie's turnin chapman : 
He'll buy a' the pack! 


V. 

Here 's a little wadset — 
Buittle scrap 0' truth, 

Pawned in a gin-shop, 
Quenching holy drouth. 


Chorus. 

Buy braw troggin 

Frae the banks 0' Dee! 
Wha wants troggin 

Let him come to me! 


VI. 




Here 's an honest conscience 

Might a prince adorn, 
Frae the downs 0' Tinwald — 


THE DEAN OF THE FACULTY. 


So was never worn ! 


A NEW BALLAD. 


VII. 

Here 's armorial bearings 
Frae the manse 0' Urr : 

The crest, a sour crab-apple 
Rotten at the core. 


Tune : The Dragon of Wafifley. 

[This ballad refers to a contest between 
Mr. Erskine and Mr. Dundas for the dean- 
ship of the Faculty of Advocates, Mr. 
Dundas was elected.] 


VIII. 


I. 

Dire was the hate at Old Harlaw 
That Scot to Scot did carry ; 

And dire the discord Langside saw 
For beauteous, hapless Mary. 

But Scot to Scot ne'er met so hot, 
Or were more in fury seen, Sir, 

Than 'twixt Hal and Bob for the 
famous job, 

Who should be the Faculty's Dean, 
Sir. 


Here is Satan's picture. 

Like a bizzard gled 
Pouncing poor Redcastle, 

Sprawlin like a taed. 

IX. 

Here 's the font where Douglas 
Stane and mortar names. 

Lately used at Caily 

Christening Murray's crimes. 



i88 



THE TARBOLTON LASSES. 



II- 


IV. 


Tliis Hal for genius, wit, and lore 


As once on Pisgah purg'd w^as the sight 


Among the first was numbered 


Of a son of Circumcision, 


But pious Bob, 'mid learning's store. 


So, may be, on this Pisgah height 


Commandment the Tenth remem- 


Bob's purblind mental vision. 


bered. 


Nay, Bobby's mouth may be open'd 


Yet simple Bob the victory got. 


yet. 


And won his heart's desire : 


Till for eloquence you hail him. 


Which shows that Heaven can boil 


And swear that he has the Angel met 


the pot, 


That met the Ass of Balaam. 


Tho' the Deil piss in the fire. 


V. 


III. 


In your heretic sins may ye live and 


Squire Hal, besides, had in this case 


die, 


Pretensions rather brassy ; 


Ye heretic Eight-and-Thirty! 


For talents, to deserve a place, 


But accept, ye subUme majority, 


Are qualifications saucy. 


My congratulations hearty! 


So their worships of the Faculty, 


With your honors, as with a certain 


Quite sick of Merit's rudeness. 


King, 


Chose one who should owe it all, d' ye 


In your servants this is striking. 


see. 


The more incapacity they bring 


To their gratis grace and goodness. 


The more they 're to your liking. 



MISCELLANIES. 



THE TARBOLTON LASSES. 



[An early aUempt at satire, 
by Chambers (185 1).] 



Published 



I. 



If ye gae up to yon hill-tap, 
Ye '11 there see bonie Peggy 

She kens her father is a laird, 
And she forsooth 's a leddy. 



n. 

There 's Sophy tight, a lassie bright, 
Besides a handsome fortune : 

Wha canna win her in a night 
Has little art in courtin. 



III. 

Gae down by Faile, and taste the ale. 
And tak a look o' Mysie : 



She 's dour and din, a deil within, 
But aiblins she may please ye. 



IV. 



If she be shy, her sister try, 
Ye '11 may be fancy Jenny : 

If ye '11 dispense wi' want o' sense, 
She kens hersel she 's bonie. 



V. 



As ye gae up by yon hillside, 

Spier in for bonie Bessy : 
She '11 gie ye a beck, and bid ye light, 

And handsomely address ye. 



VI. 



There 's few sae bonie, nane sae guid 
In a' King George' dominion: 

If ye should doubt the truth of this. 
It's Bessy's ain opinion. 



THE RONALDS OF THE BENNALS. 



189 



THE RONALDS OF THE BEN- 
NALS. 

[The Bennals was a farm in Tarbolton 
Parish. Miss Jean refused Gilbert Burns.] 



In Tarbolton, ye ken, there are proper 
young men, 
And proper young lasses and a', 
man : 
But ken ye the Ronalds that live in 
the Bennals? 
They carry the gree frae them a', 
man. 

II. 

Their father's a laird, and weel he 
can spare 't : 
Braid money to tocher them a.\ 
man; 
To proper young men, he '11 clink in 
the hand 
Gowd guineas a hunder or twa, man. 



III. 

There 's ane they ca' Jean, I '11 warrant 
ye Ve seen 
As bonie a lass or as braw, man ; 
But for sense and guid taste she '11 vie 
wi' the best. 
And a conduct that beautifies a', 
man. 

IV. 

The charms o' the min', the langer 
they shine 
The mair admiration they draw, 
man ; 
While peaches and cherries, and roses 
and hlies, 
They fade and they wither awa, 
man. 

V. 

If ye be for Miss Jean, tak this frae a 
frien', 
A hint o' a rival or twa, man : 



The Laird o' Blackbyre wad gang 
through the fire, 
If that wad entice her awa, man. 



VI. 

The Laird o' Braehead has been on 
his speed 
For mair than a towmond or twa, 
man : 
The Laird o' the Ford will straught on 
a board. 
If he canna get her at a', man. 

VII. 

Then Anna comes in, the pride o' 
her kin. 
The boast of our bachelors a', 
man : 
Sae sonsy and sweet, sae fully com- 
plete. 
She steals our affections aw^a, man. 

VIII. 

If I should detail the pick and the 
wale 
O' lasses that live here awa, man. 
The faut wad be mine, if they didna 
shine 
The sweetest and best o' them a', 
man. 

IX. 

I lo'e her mysel, but darena weel 
tell, 
My poverty keeps me in awe, man ; 
For making o' rhymes, and working 
at times. 
Does little or naething at a', man. 

X. 

Yet I wadna choose to let her refuse 
Nor hae 't in her power to say na, 
man : 
For though I be poor, unnoticed, 
obscure, 
My stomach's as proud as them 
a', man. 



190 I'LL GO AND BE A SODGER. — THE BELLES OF MAUCHLINE. 



XI. 

Though I canna ride in well- booted 
pride, 
And flee o'er the hills like a craw, 
man, 
I can hand up my head wi' the best o' 
the breed, 
Though fluttering ever so braw, 
man. 

XII. 

My coat and my vest, they are Scotch 
o' the best ; 
C pairs o' guid breeks I hae twa, 
man, 
And stockings and pumps to put on 
my stumps, 
And ne'er a wrang steek m them 



a , man. 



XIII. 



My sarks they are few, but five o^ 
them new — 
TwaP hundred, as white as the 
snaw, man ! 
A ten-shillings hat, a Holland cra- 
vat — 
There are no monie Poets sae 
braw, man ! 



XIV, 

I never had frien's weel stockit in 
means. 
To leave me a hundred or twa, 
man ; 
Nae w^eel-tocher'd aunts, to w^ait on 
their drants 
And wish them in hell for it a\ 
man. 

XV. 

I never was cannie for hoarding o^ 
money, 
Or claughtin 't together at a\ man ; 
I 've little to spend and naetliing to 
lend. 
But devil a shilling I awe, man. 



TLL GO AND BE A SODGER. 

[Inspired, it may be, by the destruction 
of the shop at Irvine, when the writer was 
" left, Uke a true poet, not worth sixpence."] 

I. 

O, WHY the deuce should I repine, 

And be an ill foreboder ? 
I 'm twenty-three and five feet nine, 

I '11 go and be a sodger, 

II. 

I gat some gear wi' meikle care, 

I held it weel thegither ; 
But now it's gane — and something 
mair : 

I '11 go and be a sodger. 



APOSTROPHE TO FERGUSSON. 

INSCRIBED ABOVE AND BELOW HIS 
PORTRAIT. 

[The copy of Fergusson bearing this pas- 
sionate but Anglified protest, was given by 
Burns to Miss R. Carmichael, a writer of 
verse.] 

Curse on ungrateful man, that can 

be pleas'd 
And yet can starve the author of the 

pleasure ! 

O thou, my elder brother in mis- 
fortune. 

By far my elder brother in the Muse, 

With tears I pity thy unhappy fate ! 

Why is the Bard unfitted for the 
world, 

Yet has so keen a relish of its 
pleasures ? 



THE BELLES OF MAUCHLINE. 

[These young ladies were all married, 
and their histories have been traced. Miss 
Armour became Mrs. Burns.] 

I. 

In Mauchline there dwells six proper 
young belles. 



AH, WOE IS ME. — LINES WRITTEN ON A BANK NOTE. 191 



The pride of the place and its neigh- 
bourhood a\ 

Their carriage and dress, a stranger 
would guess. 

In Lon'on or Paris they 'd gotten 
it a'. 



II. 

Miss Millar is fine, Miss Markland 's 

divine, 
Miss Smith she has wit, an Miss Betty 

is braw, 
There 's beauty and fortune to get wi' 

Miss Morton ; 
But Armour's the jewel for me o' 

them a\ 



AH, WOE IS ME, MY MOTHER 
DEAR. 

Jeremiahy chap. xv. verse 10. 

[The lines were inscribed by Burns in a 
copy of Fergusson now in the Free Library, 
Edinburgh.] 

I. 

Ah, woe is me, my Mother dear ! 

A man of strife ye 've born me : 
For sair contention I maun bear ; 

They hate, revile, and scorn me. 



II. 

I ne'er could lend on bill or band. 
That live per cent, might blest me ; 

And borrowing, on the tither hand. 
The deil a ane wad trust me. 



III. 

Yet I, a coin-denyed wight. 

By Fortune quite discarded. 
Ye see how I am day and night 

By lad and lass blackguarded ! 



INSCRIBED ON A WORK OF 
HANNAH MORELS 

PRESENTED TO THE AUTHOR BY A 
LADY. 

[This lady has not been identified.] 

Thou flatt'ring mark of friendship 

kind, 
Still may thy pages call to mind 

The dear, the beauteous donor ! 
Tho' sweetly female ev'ry pa'rt, 
Yet such a head and — more — the 
heart 
Does both the sexes honor : 
She show'd her taste retin'd and just, 

When she selected thee. 
Yet deviating, own I must. 
For so approving me : 

But. kind still, I mind still 

The giver in the gift ; 
I '11 bless her, and wiss her 
A Friend aboon the lift. 



LINES WRITTEN ON A BANK 
NOTE. 

[The verses were written on a Bank of 
Scotland one-pound note of the date of 
March i, 1780.] 

Wae worth thv power, thou cursed 

leaf ! 
Fell source of a' my woe and grief. 
For lack o' thee I 've lost my lass. 
For lack o' thee I scrimp my glass! 
I see the children of aftiiction 
Unaided, through thy curs'd restric- 
tion. 
I 've seen the oppressor's cruel smile 
Amid his hapless victims' spoil ; 
And for thy potence vainly wish'd 
To crush the villain in the dust. 
For lack o* thee I leave this much- 

lov'd shore, 
Never, perhaps, to greet old Scotland 
more. 

R. B. 
Kyle. 



192 



THE FAREWELL. — WHOSE IS THAT NOBLE. 



THE FAREWELL. 

The valiant, in himself, what can he suffer ? 
Or what does he regard his single woes ? 
But whe?i, alas / he multiplies himself, 
To dearer selves, to the lov'd tender fair, 
'Jo those whose bliss, whose beings hang upon 

him, 
To helpless children^ — then. Oh then he 

feels 
The point of misery festering in his heart, 
And weakly weeps his fortunes like a cow- 
ard : • 
Such, such am I ! — undone! 

— Thomson's " Edward and Eleanora." 



[" The Farewell " was written in August, 
1786, when the idea of emigration was 
firmly fixed in the poet's mind.] 



Farewell, old Scotia's bleak do- 
mains, 
Far dearer than the torrid plains, 

Where rich ananas blow ! 
Farewell, a mother's blessing dear 
A brother's sigh, a sister's tear. 

My Jean's heart-rending throe ! 
Farewell, my Bess ! Tho' thou Vt 
bereft 
Of my paternal care, 
A faithful brother I have left. 
My part in him thou 'It share ! 
Adieu too, to you too. 

My Smith, my bosom frien' ; 
When kindly you mind me, 
O, then befriend my Jean ! 

II. 

What bursting anguish tears my 

heart ? 
From thee, my Jeany, must I part ? 

Thou, weeping, answVest : ' No ! ' 
Alas ! misfortune stares my face. 
And points to ruin and disgrace — 

I for thy sake must go ! 
Thee, Hamilton, and Aiken dear, 

A grateful, warm adieu : 
I with a much-indebted tear 

Shall still remember you ! 



All-hail, then, the gale then 

Wafts me from thee, dear shore ! 

It rustles, and whistles — 
I 'U never see thee more ! 



ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF 
ROBERT RUISSEAUX. 

["Ruisseaux" — French for "brooks" 
{i.e., "burns") — is a play on the poet's 
name.] 



Now Robin lies in his last lair. 
He'll gabble rhyme, nor sing nae 

mair ; 
Cauld Poverty wi' hungry stare 

Nae mair shall fear him ; 
Nor anxious Fear, nor cankert Care, 

E^er mair come near him- 

II. 

To tell the truth, they seldom fash'd 

him, 
Except the moment that they crushed 

him ; 
For sune as Chance or Fate had hushM 
'em, 

Tho' e'er sae short, 
Then wi' a rhyme or sang he lash'd 'em, 
And thought it sport. 

III. . 

Tho' he was bred to kintra-wark. 
And counted was baith wight and stark, 
Yet that was never Robin's mark 

To mak a man ; 
But tell him he was learned and dark. 

Ye roos'd him than! 



VERSES INTENDED TO BE 
WRITTEN BELOW A NOBLE 
EARL'S PICTURE. 

[A special compliment to the poet's patron, 
the Earl of Glencairn, who declined, as a 



ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF SIR JAMES HUNTER BLAIR. 193 



question of taste, to have it included in the 
'87 edition.] 



I. 



Whose is that noble, dauntless brow? 

And whose that eye of fire ? 
And whose that generous princely 
mien, 

Ev^n rooted foes admire? 



II. 

Stranger! to justly show that brow 
And mark that eye of fire, 

Would take His hand, whose vernal 
tints 
His other works admire ! 



III. 

Bright as a cloudless summer sun, 
With stately port he moves ; 

His guardian Seraph eyes with awe 
The noble Ward he loves. 



IV. 

Among the illustrious Scottish sons 
That Chief thou may'st discern : 

Mark Scotia's fond-returning eye — 
It dwells upon Glencairn. 



ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF 
SIR JAMES HUNTER BLAIR. 

[Sir James Hunter Blair was a public- 
spirited citizen of Edinburgh, the promoter 
of many public works, and was created a 
baronet in 1786.] 

I. 

The lamp of day with ill-presaging 
glare, 
Dim, cloudy, sank beneath the 
western wave ; 
Th' inconstant blast howPd thro' the 
darkening air. 
And hollow whistled in the rocky 
cave. 



II. 

Lone as I wandered by each cliff and 
dell. 
Once the lov'd haunts of Scotia's 
royal train ; 
Or mus'd where limpid streams, once 
hallow'd, well, 
Or mouldVing ruins mark the sacred 



Fane. 



III. 



Th' increasing blast roared round the 
beetling rocks, 
The clouds, swift-wing'd, flew o'er 
the starry sky. 
The groaning trees untimely shed 
their locks, 
And shooting meteors caught the 
startled eye. 

IV. 

The paly moon rose in the livid east. 
And 'mong the chffs disclos'd a 
stately form 
In weeds of woe, that frantic beat her 
breast. 
And mix'd her wailings with the 
raving storm. 

V. 

Wild to my heart the filial pulses glow : 
'Twas Caledonia's trophied shield 
I view'd. 
Her form majestic droop'd in pensive 
woe. 
The lightning of her eye in tears 
imbued ; 

VI. 

Revers'd that spear redoubtable in 
war, 
Reclined that banner, erst in fields 
unfurl'd, 
That like a deathful meteor gleam'd 
afar. 
And brav'd the mighty monarchs 
of the world. 



194 



ON THE DEATH OF LORD PRESIDENT DUNDAS. 



VII. 



<My patriot son fills an untimely 



grave 



r ' 



With accents wild and lifted arms, 

she cried ; 
*Lovv lies the hand that oft was 

stretched to save, 
Low lies the heart that swelled with 

honors pride. 

VIII. 

*A weeping country joins a widow's 
tear; 
The helpless poor mix with the 
orphan's cry ; 
The drooping Arts surround their 
patron's bier ; 
And grateful Science heaves the 
heart-felt sigh. 



IX. 

^I saw my sons resume their ancient 
fire ; 
I saw fair Freedom's blossoms richly 
blow. 
But ah ! how hope is born but to expire! 
Relentless fate has laid their guar- 
dian low. 



X. 

* My patriot falls, but shall he lie un- 
sung, 
While empty greatness saves a 
worthless name? 
No : every Muse shall join her tuneful 
tongue, 
And future ages hear his growing 
fame. 

XI. 

'And I will join a mothers tender cares 
Thro' future times to make his vir- 
tues last. 
That distant years may boast of other 
Blairs!' — 
She said, and vanished with the 
sweeping blast. 



ON THE DEATH OF LORD 
PRESIDENT DUNDAS. 

[Burns composed this elegy at the sug- 
gestion of Mr. Charles Hay, advocate, after- 
wards elevated to the bench under the de- 
signation of Lord Newton. The son of the 
Lord President, to whom the poem was 
sent, " never took the smallest notice of the 
letter, the poem, or the poet," and Burns's 
pride received an incurable wound.] 

Lone on the bleaky hills, the straying 
flocks 

Shun the fierce storms among the 
sheltering rocks ; 

Down foam the rivulets, red with 
dashing rains ; 

The gathering floods burst o'er the 
distant plains ; 

Beneath the blast the leafless forests 
groan ; 

The hollow caves return a hollow 
moan. 

Ye hills, ye plains, ye forests, and ye 
caves. 

Ye howling winds, and wintry swell- 
ing weaves. 

Unheard, unseen, by human ear or 
eye. 

Sad to your sympathetic glooms I fly, 

Where to the whistling blast and 
water's roar 

Pale Scotia's recent wound I may de- 
plore ! 

O heavy loss, thy country ill could 
bear! 

A loss these evil days can ne'jer re- 
pair ! 

Justice, the high vicegerent of her 
God, 

Her doubtful balance eyed, and sway'd 
her rod ; 

Hearing the tidings of the fatal blow. 

She sank, abandon'd to the wildest 
woe. 

Wrongs, injuries, from many a dark- 
some den, 

Now gay in hope explore the paths* 
of men. 



ELEGY ON WILLIE NICOL'S MARE. — LINES ON FERGUSSON. 195 



See from his cavern grim Oppression 

rise, 
And throw on Poverty his cruel eyes! 
Keen on the helpless victim let him 

And stifle, dark, the feebly-bursting 

cry! 
Mark Ruffian V^iolence, distained with 

crimes, 
Rousing elate in these degenerate 

times ! 
View unsuspecting Innocence a prey, 
As guileful Fraud points out the err- 
ing way ; 
While subtile Litigation's pliant 

tongue 
The life-blood equal sucks of Right 

and Wrong! 
Hark, injured Want recounts th' un- 

listen'd tale. 
And much-wrong'd MisVy pours th' 

unpitied wail! 

Ye dark, waste hills, ye brown, un- 
sightly plains. 

Congenial scenes, ye soothe my 
mournful strains. 

Ye tempests, rage! ye turbid torrents, 
roll! 

Ye suit the joyless tenor of my soul. 

Life's social haunts and pleasures I 
resign ; 

Be nameless wilds and lonely wander- 
ings mine, 

ID mourn the woes my country must 
endure : 

i'hat wound degenerate ages cannot 
cure. 



ELEGY ON WILLIE NICOL'S 
MARE. 

[The mare, which was named after the 
insane woman who attempted the life of 
George III., was the property of Burns's 
friend, Mr. William Nicol.] 



Peg Nicholson was a good bay 
mare 
As ever trod on airn ; 



But now she 's floating down the Nith, 
And past the mouth o' Cairn. 



II. 



Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare, 
An' rode thro' thick an' thin ; 

But now she 's floating down the Nith, 
And wanting even the skin. 



III. 

Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare. 
And ance she bore a priest ; 

But now she 's floating down the Nith, 
For Sol way fish a feast. 

IV. 

Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare 
An' the priest he rode her sair; 

And much oppressed, and bruis'd she 
was, 
As priest-rid cattle are. 



LINES ON FERGUSSON. 

[Inscribed in a copy of the "World." 
(Chambers) .] 

I. 

Ill-fated genius ! Heaven-taught 
Fergusson ! 
What heart that feels, and will not 
yield a tear 
To think Life's sun did set, e'er well 
begun 
To shed its influence on thy bright 



career 



11. 



O, why should truest Worth and 
Genius pine 
Beneath the iron grasp of Want 
and Woe, 
While titled knaves and idiot-great- 
ness shine 
In all the splendour Fortune can 
bestow ? 



196 ELEGY ON MISS BURNET. — PEGASUS AT WANLOCKHEAD. 



ELEGY ON THE LATE MISS 
BURNET OF MONBODDO. 

[Elizabeth Burnet, the "fair Burnet" of 
the "Address to Edinburgh," was the 
younger daughter of James Burnet, Lord 
Monboddo. Burns was a frequent visitor 
to Alonboddo's house in 1786-7, and almost 
worshipped the fair hostess.] 



Life ne'er exulted in so rich a prize 
As Burnet, lovely from her native 

skies ; 
Nor envious Death so triumph^ in a 

blow 
As that which laid th' accomplished 

Burnet low. 



II. 

Thy form and mind, sweet maid, can 

I forget? 
In richest ore the brightest jewel set! 
In thee high Heaven above was truest 

shown, 
For by His noblest work the Godhead 

best is known. 



III. 

In vain ye flaunt in summer's pride, 
ye groves ! 
Thou crystal streamlet with thy 
flowery shore. 
Ye woodland choir that chaunt your 
idle loves, 
Ye cease to charm: Eliza is no 
more. 

TV. 

Ye heathy w^astes immix'd with reedy 
fens, 
Ye mossy streams with sedge and 
rushes stor'd, 
Ye rugged clifls overhanging dreary 
glens, 
To you I fly : ye with my soul 
accord. 



V. 

Princes whose cumb'rous pride was 
all their w^orth. 
Shall venal lays their pompous exit 
hail. 
And thou, sweet Excellence ! forsake 
our earth. 
And not a iVIuse with honest grief 
bewail ? 

VI. 

We saw thee shine in youth and 
beauty's pride 
And Virtue's light, that beams be- 
yond the spheres ; 
But, like the sun eclips'd at morning 
tide, 
Thou left us darkling in a world of 
tears. 

VII. 

The parent's heart that nestled fond 
in thee, 
That heart how sunk, a prey to 
grief and care ! 
So deckt the woodbine sweet yon aged 
tree. 
So, rudely ravish 'd, left it bleak and 
bare. 



PEGASUS AT WANLOCK- 
HEAD. 

[Written in Ramage's Inn, while the 
poet's horse's shoes were frosting. For 
thirty years afterwards it was said Vulcan 
was in the habit of boasting that he had 
" never been weel paid but ance, and that 
was by a poet, who paid him in money, 
paid him in drink, and paid him in verse."] 



I. 

With Pegasus upon a day 

Apollo, weary flying 
(Through frosty hills the journey lay), 

On foot the way was plying. 



ON GENERAL DUMOURIER'S DESERTION. 



197 



II. 



Poor slip-shod, giddy Pegasus 
Was but a sorry walker ; 

To Vulcan then Apollo goes 
To get a frosty caulker. 



III. 



Obliging Vulcan fell to work, 
Threw by his coat and bonnet, 

And did SoPs business in a crack 
Sol paid him in a sonnet. 



IV. 



Ye Vulcan's sons of Wanlockhead, 

Pity my sad disaster ! 
My Pegasus is poorly shod — 

I '11 pay you like my master ! 
Ramage's, 3 clock. 



ON SOME COMMEMORATIONS 
OF THOMSON. 

[Thomson, among other pieces of patron- 
age, drew the salary of Surveyor-General of 
the Leeward Islands, and had a pension. 
Thomson did not " climb the brae helpless 
and alane," quite the reverse. — Andrew 
Lang.] 



Dost thou not rise, indignant Shade, 
And smile wi' spurning scorn 

When they wha wad hae starved thy 
life 
Thy senseless turf adorn ? 

II. 

They wha about thee mak sic fuss 
Now thou art but a name. 

Wad seen thee damn'd ere they had 
spar'd 
Ae plack to fill thy wame. 

III. 

Helpless, alane, thou clamb the brae 

Wi' meikle honest toil. 
And claucht th' unfading garland there. 

Thy sair-won, rightful spoil. 



IV. 



And wear it there ! and call aloud 
This axiom undoubted : — 

Would thou hae Nobles' patronage? 
First learn to live without it ! 



'To whom hae much, more shall be 
given ' 

Is every great man's faith ; 
But he, the helpless, needful wretch, 

Shall lose the mite he hath. 



ON GENERAL DUMOURIER'S 
DESERTION 

FROM THE FRENCH REPUBLICAN 
ARMY. 

[Burns chanted these verses on hearing 
some one express his joy at General Du- 
mourier's defection from the service of the 
French Republic] 



You 're welcome to Despots, 

Dumourier! 
You 're welcome to Despots, 
Dumourier! 
How does Dampiere do? 
Ay, and Bournonville too? 
Why did they not come along 
you, 

Dumourier : 



with 



II. 



I 



will fight France with you, 
Dumourier, 
I will fight France with you, 
Dumourier ; 
I will fight France with you, 
I will take my chance with you. 
By my soul, I '11 dance with you, 
Dumourier ! 



98 ON JOHN M'lMURDO. — ON MRS. RIDDELL'S BIRTHDAY. 



III. 

Then let us figbt about, 
Dumourier ! 

Then let us fight about, 
Dumourier ! 

Then let us fight about 

Till Freedom's spark be out, 
Then we '11 be damn'd, no doubt, 
Dumourier. 



ON JOHN M^MURDO. 

[Cunningham states that the verses " ac- 
companied a present of books or verse," 
and that afterwards Burns wrote them on a 
window-pane with a diamond.] 

Blest be M^Murdo to his latest day ! 
No envious cloud overcast his evening 

ray ! 
No wrinkle furrow'd by the hand of 

care, 
Nor ever sorrow, add one silver 

hair ! 
O may no son the father's honor 

stain. 
Nor ever daughter give the mother 

pain! 



ON HEARING A THRUSH SING 
IN A MORNING WALK IN 
JANUARY. 

[Burns dealt little in sonnets ; this example 
breaks every former rule except that which 
restricts the number of lines to fourteen.] 

Sing on, sweet thrush, upon the leaf- 
less bough. 

Sing on, sweet bird, I listen to thy 
strain : 

See aged Winter, 'mid his surly 
reign. 

At thy blythe carol clears his fur- 
rowed brow. 

So in lone Poverty's dominion drear 

Sits meek Content with light, un- 
anxious heart, 



Welcomes the rapid moments, bids 

them part. 
Nor asks if they bring ought to hope 

or fear. 
I thank Thee, Author of this opening 

day. 
Thou whose bright sun now gilds 

yon orient skies! 
Riches denied, Thy boon was purer 

joys : 
What wealth could never give nor 

take away ! 
Yet come, thou child of Poverty and 

Care, 
The mite high Heav'n bestow'd, that 

mite with thee I '11 share. 



IMPROMPTU 
DELL'S 



ON MRS. RID 
BIRTHDAY, 



4TH NOVEMBER 1 793- 

[Mrs. Walter Riddell, whose maiden 
name was Maria Woodley, was the daugh- 
ter of William Woodley, Commander and 
Governor of St. Kitts and the Leeward 
Islands.! 



I. 

Old Winter, with his frosty beard. 

Thus once to Jove his prayer pre- 
ferred : — 

' What have I done of all the year, 

To bear this hated doom severe? 

My cheerless suns no pleasure know; 

Night's horrid car drags dreary slow ; 

My dismal months no joys are crown- 
ing, 

But spleeny, English hanging, drown- 



II. 

Now Jove, for once be mighty civil : 
To counterbalance all this evil 
Give me, and I 've no more to say. 
Give me Maria's natal day ! 
That brilliant gift shall so enrich me, 
Spring, Summer, Autumn, cannot 
match me.' 



ON THE DEATH OF ROBT. RIDDELL. — GRIZZEL GRIMME. 199 



•'T is done ! ^ says Jove ; so ends my 

story, 
And Winter once rejoiced in glory. 



SONNET ON THE DEATH OF 
ROBERT RIDDELL OF GLEN- 
RIDDELL. 

[Burns had offended the Riddells by 
lampooning Mrs. Walter Riddell ; and "the 
worthy Glenriddell, deep read in old coins," 
fell out with the poet of the " Whistle," and 
he died unreconciled to his friend, who, le- 
membering only his worth and former kind- 
ness, immediately penned an elegiac sonnet 
on the event.] 

No more, ye warblers of the wood, 

no more. 
Nor pour your descant grating on my 

soul ! 
Thou young-eyed Spring, gay in thy 

verdant stole, 
More welcome were to me grim 

Winters wildest roar ! 
How can ye charm, ye flowers, with 

all your dyes ? 
Ye blow upon the sod that wTaps my 

friend. 
How can I to the tuneful strain at- 
tend ? 
That strain flows round the untimely 

tomb where Riddell lies. 
Yes, pour, ye warblers, pour the notes 

of woe. 
And sooch the Virtues weeping o'er 

his bier ! 
The man of worth — and ^hath not 

left his peer ' ! — 
Is in his ' narrow house ' for ever 

darkly low. 
Thee, Spring, again with joy shall 

others greet ; 
Me, memory of my loss will only 

meet. 



A SONNET UPON SONNETS. 

[First published in the Centenary edition, 
which says : " We have done our utmost to 
determine whether this copy of verses be 



very Burns, or merely a copy in Burns's 
handwriting. It seems to be unknown, and 
we have assumed that it is one of his few 
metrical experiments.] 

Fourteen, a sonneteer thy praises 

sings ; 
What magic mvstVies in that number 

lie! 
Your hen hath fourteen eggs beneath 

her wings 
That fourteen chickens to the roost 

may fly. 
Fourteen full pounds the jockey's 

stone must be ; 
His age fourteen — a horse's prime is 

past. 
Fourteen long hours too oft the Bard 

must fast ; 
Fourteen bright bumpers — bliss he 

ne'er must see ! 
Before fourteen, a dozen yields the 

strife ; " 
Before fourteen — e'en thirteen's 

strength is vain. 
Fourteen good years — a woman 

gives us life ; 
Fourteen good men — we lose that 

life again. 
What lucubrations can be more upon 

it? 
Fourteen good measured verses make 

a sonnet. 



GRIZZEL GRIMME. 

[This piece is published in the " Notes" 
of the Centenary edition, with the following 
comment: "This piece came into our 
hands too late for insertion among the 
' Miscellanies.' But it is plainly Burns, the 
artist in folk-song, and — save for a false 
(eighteenth century) note or two in the 
first half of stanza iii — that Burns by no 
means at his worst; it is racy, rank, even, 
of the rustic earth ; and we have pleasure 
in giving it in this Note."] 

Grim Grizzel was a mighty Dame 
Weel kend on Cluden-side : 

Grim Grizzel was a mighty Dame 
O' meikle fame and pride. 



200 



GRIZZEL GRIMME. 



When gentles met in gentle bowers 

And nobles in the ha\ 
Grim Grizzel was a mighty Dame, 

The loudest o' them a\ 

Where lawless Riot rag'd the night 
And Beauty durst na gang, 

Grim Grizzel was a mighty Dame, 
Wham nae man e"er wad wrang. 

Nor had Grim Grizzel skill alane 
What bower and ha' require ; 

But she had skill, and meikle skill, 
In barn and eke in byre. 

Ae day Grim Grizzel walked forth. 

As she was wont to do, 
Alang the banks o' Cluden fair, 

Her cattle for to view. 

The cattle sh . . . o'er hill and dale 

As cattle will incline, 
And sair it grieved Grim GrizzePs 
heart 

Sae meikle muck to tine. 

And she has ca'd on John o' Clods, 
Of her herdsmen the chief, 

And she has ca'd on John o' Clods! 
And teird him a' her grief: — 

^Now wae betide thee, John o' Clods! 

I gie thee meal and fee, 
And yet sae muckle muck ye tine 

Might a' be gear to me ! 

^ Ye claut my byre, ye sweep my byre, 

The like was never seen ; 
The very chamber I lie in 

Was never half sae clean. 

' Ye ca' my kye adown the loan 
And there they a- discharge : 

My Tammie's hat, wig, head and a' 
Was never half sae large ! 

^But mind my words now, John o' 
Clods, 
And tent me what I say : 



My kye shall sh . . . ere they gae out, 
That shall they ilka day. 

' And mind my words now, John o' 
Clods, 

And tent now wha ye serve ; 
Or back ye 'se to the Colonel gang. 

Either to steal or starve.' 

Then John o' Clods he looked up 
And syne he looked down ; 

He looked east, he looked west. 
He looked roun' and roun'. 

His bonnet and his rowantree club 

Frae either hand did fa' ; 
Wi' lifted een and open mouth 

He naething said at a'. 

At length he found his trembling 
tongue, 

Within his mouth was fauld : — 
' Ae silly word frae me, mad^m, 

Gin I daur be sae bauld. 

' Your kye will at nae bidding sh . . ., 

Let me do what I can ; 
Your kye will at nae bidding sh . . . 

Of onie earthly man. 

' Tho' ye are great Lady Glaur-hole, 

For a' your power and art 
Tho' ye are great Lady Glaur-hole, 

They winna let a fart.' 

' Now wae betide thee, John o' Clods! 

An ill death may ye die ! 
My kye shall at my bidding sh . . ., 

And that ye soon shall see.' 

Then she 's ta'en Hawkie by the tail, 
And wrung wi' might and main. 

Till Hawkie rowted through the woods 
Wi' agonising pain. 

^Sh . . ., sh . . ., ye bitch,' Grim 
Grizzel roar'd, 
Till hill and valley rang: 
'And sh . . ., ye bitch,' the echoes 
roar'd 
Lincluden wa's amang. 



TRAGIC FRAGMENT.— REMORSE. 



201 



FRAGMENTS. 

TRAGIC FRAGMENT. 



[Assigned by Burns to his eighteenth or 
nineteenth year. Much later in life he con- 
templated a drama on an adventure of Rob- 
ert Bruce.] 

All villain as I am — a damned 
wretch, 

A hardened, stubborn, unrepenting 
sinner — 

Still my heart melts at human wretch- 
edness, 

And with sincere, tho' unavailing, 
sighs 

I view the helpless children of dis- 
tress. 

With tears indignant I behold the op- 
pressor 

Rejoicing in the honest man's destruc- 
tion, 

Whose unsubmitting heart was all his 
crime. 

Ev'n you, ye hapless crew! I pity 
you ! 

Ye, whom the seeming good think sin 
to pity : 

Ye poor, despised, abandoned vaga- 
bonds. 

Whom Vice, as usual, has tum'd o'er 
to ruin. 

Oh! but for friends and interposing 
Heaven, 

I had been driven forth, like you for- 
lorn, 

The most detested, worthless wretch 
among you ; 

O injured God! Thy goodness has 
endowed me 

With talents passing most of my com- 
peers, 

Which I in just proportion have 
abused, 

As far surpassing other common vil- 
lains 

As Thou in natural parts has given me 
more. 



REMORSE. 



[" Remorse is the most painful sentiment 
that can imbitter the human bosom." (R. B.) 
" As early as 1783. The fragment, of course, 
is dramatic, and not personal." — Andrew 
Lang.] 

Of all the numerous ills that hurt our 
peace, 

That press the soul, or wring the mind 
with anguish. 

Beyond comparison the worst are those 

By our own folly, or our guilt brought 
on : 

In ev'ry other circumstance, the mind 

Has this to say : — ^ It was no deed of 
mine.' 

But, when to all the evil of misfor- 
tune 

This sting is added : — ' Blame thy 
foolish self ! ' 

Or, worser far, the pangs of keen re- 
morse, 

The torturing, gnawing consciousness 
of guilt. 

Of guilt, perhaps, where we 've involved 
others. 

The young, the innocent, who fondly 
lov'd us ; 

Nay, more, that very love their cause 
of ruin ! 

O burning Hell! in all thy store of 
torments 

There 's not a keener lash! 

Lives there a man so firm, who, while 
his heart 

Feels all the bitter horrors of his 
crime. 

Can reason down its agonizing 
throbs, 

And, after proper purpose of amend- 
ment. 

Can firmly force his jarring thoughts 
to peace? 

O happy, happy, enviable man! 

O glorious magnanimity of soul! 



202 RUSTICITY'S UNGAINLY FORM. — SKETCH FOR AN ELEGY. 



RUSTICITY\S UNGAINLY 
FORM. 

[" The ' sensible ' one Burns grieves for 
was the unlucky Miss Kennedy." — AN- 
DREW Lang.] 



RusTiClTY^S ungainly form 
May cloud the highest mind ; 

But when the heart is nobly warm^ 
The good excuse will find. 

II. 

Propriety's cold, cautious rules 
Warm Fervour may overlook ; 

But spare poor Sensibility 
Th' ungentle, harsh rebuke. 



ON WILLIAM CREECH. 

[Sent to Mrs. Dunlop, Oct. 23, 1788, with 
the fragment on William Smellie. " These," 
wrote Burns, " are embryotic fragments of 
what may one day be a poem."] 

A LITTLE upright, pert, tart, tripping 

wight. 
And still his precious self his dear 

delight ; 
Who loves his own smart shadow in 

the streets 
Better than e^er the fairest She he 

meets. 
Much specious lore, but little under- 
stood 
(Veneering oft outshines the solid 

wood). 
His solid sense by inches you must 

tell. 
But meet his subtle cunning by the ell ! 
A man of fashion, too, he made his 

tour, 
Learn'd ^Vive la bagatelle et vive 

Pamour ' : 
So travelPd monkies their grimace 

improve, 
Polish their grin — nay, sigh for 

ladies' love! 



His meddling vanity, a busy fiend. 
Still making work his selfish craft 
must mend. 



ON WILLIAM SMELLIE. 

[Author of the " Philosophy of Natural 
History," and member of the Antiquarian 
and Royal Societies of Edinburgh.] 

Crochallan came : 
The old cocked hat, the brown surtout 

the same ; 
His grisly beard just bristling in its 

might 
(T was four long nights and days to 

shaving-night) ; 
His uncomb'd, hoary locks, wild-star- 
ing, thatchVl 
A head for thought profound and clear 

unmatched ; 
Yet, tho' his caustic wit was biting 

rude. 
His heart was warm, benevolent, and 

good. 



SKETCH FOR AN ELEGY. 

[Probably the original form of the elegy 
on Captain Matthew Henderson, although 
his name is not mentioned.] 

I. 

Craigdarroch, fam'd for speaking 

art 
And every virtue of the heart. 
Stops short, nor can a word impart 

To end his sentence, 
When memVy strikes him like a dart 
With auld acquaintance. 

II. 

Black James — whase wit was never 

laith. 
But, like a sword had tint the sheath, 
Ay ready for the work o' death — 

He turns aside, 
And strains wi' suffocating breath 

His grief to hide. 



PASSION'S CRY. 



203 



III. 

Even Philosophic Smellie tries 

To choak the stream that floods his 

eyes : 
So Moses wi^ a hazel-rice 

Came o'er the stane ; 
But, tho' it cost him speaking twice. 

It gush'd amain. 



IV. 

Go to your marble graffs, ye great, 
In a' the tinkler-trash of state! 
But by thy honest turf I '11 wait, 

Thou man of worth, 
And wTep the ae best fallow's fate 

E'er lay in earth ! 



PASSION'S CRY. 

[This Poem was inspired by a famous 
divorce case which was tried in the Court 
of Session.] 

Mild zephyrs waft thee to life's far- 
thest shore. 

Nor think of me and my distresses 
more ! 

Falsehood accurst! No! Still I beg 
a place, 

Still near thy heart some little, little 
trace! 

For that dear trace the world I would 
resign : 

O, let me live, and die, and think it 



mine 



By all I lov'd, neglected and forgot, 
No friendly face e'er lights my squalid 

cot. 
Shunn'd, hated, wrong'd, unpitied, 

unredrest 
The mock'd quotation of the scorner's 

jest ; 
Ev'n the poor support of my wretched 

life, 
Snatched by the violence of legal 

strife ; 
Oft grateful for my very daily bread, 



To those my family's once large 

bounty fed ; 
A welcome inmate at their homely 

fare. 
My griefs, my woes, my sighs, my 

tears they share : 
Their vulgar souls unlike the souls 

refined. 
The fashion'd marble of the polish 'd 

mind. 

' I burn, I burn, as when thro' ripen'd 

corn 
By driving winds the crackling flames 

are borne.' 
Now, maddening-wild, I curse that 

fatal night. 
Now bless the hour that charm'd my 

guilty sight. 
In vain the Laws their feeble force 

oppose : 
Chain'd at his feet, they groan Love's 

vanquish'd foes. 
In vain Religion meets my shrinking 

eye : 
I dare not combat, but I turn and 

. fly- . . ' 

Conscience in vain upbraids th' un- 

hallow'd fire. 
Love grasps his scorpions — stifled 

they expire. 
Reason drops headlong from his 

sacred throne. 
Your dear idea reigns, and reigns 

alone ; 
Each thought intoxicated homage 

yields, 
And riots wanton in forbidden fields. 

By all on high adoring mortals know ; 

By all the conscious villain fears be- 
low ; 

By what, alas! much more my soul 
alarms — 

My doubtful hopes once more to fill 
thy arms — 

Ev'n shouldst thou, false, forswear the 
guilty tie. 

Thine and thine only I must live and 
die! 



204 



IN VAIN WOULD PRUDENCE. — AT ROSLIN INN. 



IN VAIN WOULD PRUDENCE. 

[These verses are sometimes included in 
the preceding fragment.] 

In vain would Prudence with decorous 

sneer 
Point out a censuring world, and bid 

me fear : 
Above that world on wings of love I 

rise, 
I know its worst, and can that worst 

despise. 
^Wrong'd, injured, shunn'd, unpitied, 

unredrest. 
The mock'd quotation of the scorner's 

jest,' 
Let Prudence' direst bodements on 

me fall, 
Clarinda, rich reward! overpays them 

all. 



THE CARES O' LOVE. 



[Printed for the first time in the Centen- 
ary edition, from the Ms. in the possession 
of Mrs. Andrews, Newcastle.] 



HE, 

The cares o' Love are sweeter far 
Than onie other pleasure ; 

And if sae dear its sorrows are, 
Enjoyment, what a treasure ! 



SHE. 

I fear to try, I dare na try 

A passion sae ensnaring ; 
For light *s her heart and blythe 's 
her song 

That for nae man is caring. 



EPIGRAMS. 



EXTEMPORE IN THE COURT 
OF SESSION. 

Tune : Killiecr ankle. 

[The oratorical duel was between Islay 
Campbell, Lord Advocate, and Henry 
Erskine, Dean of Faculty, in a certain 
divorce case.] 

LORD ADVOCATE. 

He clench'd his pamphlets in his fist, 

He quoted and he hinted, 
Till in a declamation-mist 

His argument, he tint it - 
He gaped for't, he graped for't, 

He fand it was awa, man ; 
But what his common sense came 
short, 

He eked out wi' law, man. 

MR. ERSKINE. 

Collected, Harry stood awee, 
Then open'd out his arm, man ; 



His lordship sat wi' ruefu' e'e, 

And ey'd the gathering storm, man ; 

Like wind-driv'n hail it did assail. 
Or torrents owre a linn, man ; 

The Bench sae wise lift up their eyes, 
Hauf-waukenM wi' the din, man. 



AT ROSLIN INN. 

[Chambers states that Burns breakfasted 
at the inn after a ramble in the Pentlands 
with Alexander Nasmyth, the painter.] 

My blessings on ye, honest wife ! 

I ne'er was here before ; 
Ye Ve wealth o^ gear for spoon and 
knife : 

Heart could not wi^sh for more. 
Heav'n keep you clear o' sturt and 
strife, 

Till far ayont fourscore. 
And by the Lord o' death and life, 

I "11 ne'er gae by your door ! 



TO AN ARTIST. — AT INVERARAY. 



205 



TO AN ARTIST. 

[According to Chambers, Burns entering 
a studio in Edinburgh, found the occupant 
engaged on a "Jacob's Dream," and wrote 
the hues on the back of a httle sketch.] 

Dear , I '11 gie ye some advice, 

You '11 tak it no uncivil : 
You shouldna paint at angels, man, 

But try and paint the Devil. 
To paint an angel 's kittle wark, 

Wi' Nick there 's little danger : 
You ^11 easy draw a lang-kent face, 

But no sae weel a stranger. 

R. B. 



THE BOOK-WORMS. 

[Said to have been written on a splen- 
didly bound but worm-eaten volume of 
Shakespeare in a nobleman's library.] 

Through and through th' inspired 
leaves, 

Ye maggots, make your windings ; 
But O, respect his lordship's taste, 

And spare the golden bindings ! 



ON ELPHINSTONE'S TRANS- 
LATION OF MARTIAL. 

[James Elphinstone — born 1721, died 
1809 — published his egregious translation 
of Martial's epigrams in 1782.] 

O THOU whom Poesy abhors. 
Whom Prose has turned out of doors, 
Heard'st thou yon groan ? — Proceed 

no further ! 
'T was laurePd Martial calling ^Mur- 

ther!' 



ON JOHNSON'S OPINION OF 
HAMPDEN. 

[Inscribed on a copy of Johnson's " Lives," 
presented by Burns to Alexander Cunning- 
ham.] 

For shame ! 
Let Folly and Knavery 

Freedom oppose : 
'T is suicide, Genius, 
To mix with her foes. 



UNDER THE PORTRAIT OF 
MISS BURNS. 

[Miss Burns was a woman of ill repute. 
She was in Edinburgh while Burns resided 
there in 1786-87.] 

Cease, ye prudes, your envious rail- 
ing! 
Lovely Burns has charms : con- 
fess ! 
True it is she had ae failing : 
Had ae woman ever less ? 



ON MISS AINSLIE IN CHURCH. 

[Bums wrote these lines in church, in 
Miss Ainslie's Bible, apropos of her search 
for a text against the impenitent denoted by 
the preacher.] 

Fair maid, you need not take the 
hint. 

Nor idle texts pursue ; 
'T was guilty sinners that he meant. 

Not angels such as you. 



AT INVERARAY. 

[This epigram is supposed to have been 
written on a window-pane of the inn at 
Inveraray, where the landlord was too busy 



2o6 



AT CARRON IRON\YORKS. — A HIGHLAND AYELCOME. 



in attendance on visitors to the duke to pay 
proper attention to the poet and his friend.] 



Whoe'er he be that sojourns here, 

I pity much his case. 
Unless he come to wait upon 

The Lord their God, * His Gr?ce=' 

II. 

There 's naething here but Highland 
pride 

And Highland scab and hunger : 
If Providence has sent me here, 

'T was surely in an anger. 



AT CARRON IRONWORKS. 

[Written on the window of the inn at 
Carron, and signed " R. B., Ayrshire."] 

We cam na here to view your warks 

In hopes to be mair wise. 
But only, lest we gang to Hell, 

It may be nae surprise. 

But when we tirPd at your door 
Your porter dought na bear us : 

Sae may, should we to Hell's yetts 
come, 
Y^our billie Satan sair us. 



ON SEEING THE ROYAL 
PALACE AT STIRLING IN 
RUINS. 

[On applying for a place in the excise, 
Burns was severely questioned in regard to 
this epigram.] 

Here Stewarts once in glory reign'd. 
And laws for Scotland's weal ordain'd ; 
But now unroof 'd their palace stands, 
Their sceptre fallen to other hands : 
Fallen indeed, and to the earth, 
Whence grovelling reptiles take their 
birth! 



The injured Stewart line is gone, 
A race outlandish lills their throne : 
An idiot race, to honour lost — 
Who know them best despise them 
most. 



ADDITIONAL LINES AT 
STIRLING. 

[Cunningham states that Burns, on being 
remonstrated with by Xicol on his return 
from Harvieston, added this mock " reproof 
to the author."] 

Rash mortal, and slanderous poet, 

thy name 
Shall no longer appear in the records 

of Fame ! 
Dost not know that old Mansfield, 

who writes like the Bible, 
Says, the more 't is a truth, Sir, the 

more 't is a libel ? 



REPLY TO THE THREAT OF 
A CENSORIOUS CRITIC. 

[The critic was a Rev. Mr. Hamilton, 
minister of Gladsmuir, East Lothian.] 



With ^sop's Hon, 
* Sore I feel 

Each other blow : 
ass's heel ! ' 



Burns says : — 
but damn that 



A HIGHLAND WELCOME. 

[Composed on leaving a place in the 
Highlands, where he had been kindly 
entertained.] 

When Death's dark stream I ferry 
o^er 

(A time that surely shall come), 
In Heaven itself I '11 ask no more 

Than just a Highland welcome. 



AT WHIGHAM'S INN. — SEARCHING AULD WIVES' BARRELS. 207 



AT WHIGHAM^S INN, 
QUHAR. 



SAN 



[Inscribed on a window-pane of the inn. 
VVhigham became provost of the burgh.] 

Envy, if thy jaundiced eye 
Through this window chance to spy, 
To thy sorrow thou shalt find, 
All that 's generous, all that 's kind. 
Friendship, virtue, every grace, 
Dwelling in this happy place. 



VERSICLES ON SIGN-POSTS. 

[" The everlasting surliness of a Hon and 
Saracen's head," writes Burns, "or the un- 
changing blandness of the landlord wel- 
coming a traveller, on some sign-posts, 
w^ould be no bad similes of the constant 
affected fierceness of a Bully, or the eternal 
simper of a Frenchman or a Fiddler."] 



He looked 

Just as your sign-post Lions do, 
With aspect fierce and quite as harm- 
less too. 



II. 



(patient stupidity.) 

So heavy, passive to the tempest's 

shocks, 
Dull on the sign-post stands the 

stupid ox. 

III. 

His face with smile eternal drest 
Just like the landlord to his guest. 
High as they hang with creaking din 
To index out the Country Inn. 

IV. 

A HEAD, pure, sinless quite of brain 

and soul, 
The very image of a barber's poll : 



Just shews a human face, and wears 
a wig, 

And looks, when well friseur'd, amaz- 
ing big. 



ON MISS JEAN SCOTT. 

[According to Allan Cunningham, the 
Jeanie Scott of these verses, " belonged to 
Ecclefechan, although she resided in Ayr 
and cheered the poet, not only with her 
sweet looks, but sweet voice." — William 
Wallace.] 

O, HAD each Scot of ancient times 
Been, Jeanie Scott, as thou art, 

The bravest heart on English ground 
Had yielded like a cow^ard. 



ON CAPTAIN FRANCIS GROSE. 

[" Mr. Grose was exceedingly corpulent, 
and used to rally himself with the greatest 
good humor on the singular rotundity of 
his figure." — Scots Magazine?^ 

The Devil got notice that Grose was 
a-dying, 

So whip ! at the summons, old Satan 
came flying ; 

But when he approach^ where poor 
Francis lay moaning. 

And saw each bed-post with its bur- 
then a-groaning. 

Astonished, confounded, cries Satan : 
— ' By God, 

I 'd want him ere take such a damna- 
ble load ! ' 



ON BEING APPOINTED TO 
AN EXCISE DIVISION. 

[The appointment was made in August, 
1789.] 

Searching auld wives' barrels, 
Ochon, the day 



208 



ON MISS DAVIES — IN LAMINGTON KIRK. 



That clarty barm should stain my 
laurels ! 
But what Ul ye say ? 
These movin' things ca'd wives an' 
weaus 
Wad move the very hearts o' 
stanes. 



ON MISS DAVIES. 

[Miss Debora Davies, daughter of Dr. 
Davies of Tenby, Pembrokeshire, and a 
relative of Captain Riddell.] 

Ask why God made the gem so 
small, 
And why so huge the granite ? 
Because God meant mankind should 
set 
That higher value on it. 



ON A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY 
SEAT. 

[The seat of David Maxwell of Car- 
doness, described to Mrs. Dunlop by Burns 
as a " stupid, money-loving dunderpate."] 

We grant they Ve thine, those beau- 
ties all, 

So lovely in our eye : 
Keep them, thou eunuch, Cardoness, 

For others to enjoy. 



THE TYRANT WIFE. 

[Usually published under the title of 
'* The Henpecked Husband."] 

Curs'd be the man, the poorest 
wretch in life. 

The crouching vassal to the tyrant 
wife ! 

Who has no will but by her high per- 
mission ; 

Who has not sixpence but in her 
possession ; 



Who must to her his dear friend's 
secret tell ; 

Who dreads a curtain lecture worse 
than hell ! 

Were such the wife had fallen to my 
part, 

I 'd break her spirit, or I 'd break her 
heart : 

I 'd charm her with the magic of a 
switch, 

I 'd kiss her maids, and kick the per- 
verse bitch. 



AT BROWNHILL INN. 

[A play on the name of the Landlord, 
" Bacon."] 

At Brownhill we always get dainty 

good cheer 
And plenty of bacon each day in the 

year; 
We Ve a' thing that 's nice, and mostly 

in season : 
But why always bacon? — come, tell 

me the reason? 



THE TOADEATER. 

[There are several versions of this epi- 
gram, due to tradition, etc. Some of them 
are vigorous but coarse.] 

Of Lordly acquaintance you boast, 
And the Dukes that you dined with 
yestreen ; 

Yet an insect ^s an insect at most, 
Tho' it crawl on the curl of a Queen. 



IN LAMINGTON KIRK. 

[The minister was Thomas Mitchell. He 
is described as " an accomplished scholar."! 

As cauld a wind as -ever blew, 
A cauld kirk, and in 't but few, 
As cauld a minister 's ever spak — 
Ye ^se a' be het or I come back ! 



THE KEEKIN GLASS. — ON COMMISSARY GOLDIE'S BRAINS. 209 



THE KEEKIN GLASS. 

[Written extempore for Miss Miller, 
at Dalswinton, on a drunken " Lord of Justi- 
ciary," pointing at her, and asking, " Wha's 
yoa hoolet-faced thing i' the corner ? "] 

How daur ye ca' me ^ H owlet-face,' 
Ye blear-e'ed, withered spectre? 

Ye only spied the keekin-glass, 
An' there ye saw your picture. 



AT THE GLOBE TAVERN, 
DUMFRIES. 



[Inscribed, with the exception of the 
second stanza of No. 2, on window-panes 
now in the possession of Mr. J. P. Brunton, 
Galashiels.] 



The greybeard, ohd Wisdom, may 
boast of his treasures, 
Give me with gay Folly to live! 
I grant him his calm-blooded, time- 
settled pleasures, 
But Folly has raptures to give. 



(I.) 

I MURDER hate by field or flood, 

Tho' Glory's name may screen us. 
In wars at hame I *11 spend my blood — 

Life-giving wars of Venus. 
The deities that I adore 

Are Social Peace and Plenty : 
I 'm better pleas'd to make one more 

Than be the death of twenty. 

(II.) 

I would not die like Socrates, 

For all the fuss of Plato ; 
Nor would I with Leonidas, 

Nor yet would I with Cato ; 



The zealots of the Church and State 
Shall ne'er my mortal foes be ; 

But let me have bold Zimri's fate 
Within the arms of Cozbi. 



My bottle is a holy pool. 
That heals the wounds o* care an' dool, 
And pleasure is a wanton trout — 
And ye drink it, ye *11 find him out. 



4. 

In politics if thou would'st mix, 
And mean thy fortunes be ; 

Bear this in mind : Be deaf and blind, 
Let great folks hear and see. 



YE TRUE LOYAL NATIVES. 

[The " Loyal Natives Club " of Dumfries 
celebrated the king's birthday on June 4 
with a dinner and a ball. They had Lam- 
pooned Burns and his friends, and this is 
his reply.] 

Ye true ' Loyal Natives ' attend to my 

song: 
In uproar and riot rejoice the night 

long ! 
From Envy and Hatred your core is 

exempt, 
But where is your shield from the 

darts of Contempt? 



ON COMMISSARY GOLDIE'S 
BRAINS. 

[Commissary Goldie was President of 
the " Loyal Natives."] 

Lord, to account who does Thee call. 

Or e'er dispute Thy pleasure? 
Else why within so thick a wall 

Enclose so poor a treasure? 



2IO IN A LADY'S POCKET BOOK. — ON MISS FONTENELLE. 



IN A LADY^S POCKET BOOK. 

[Published in Stewart's " Poems ascribed 
to Robert Burns" (Glasgow, 1801).] 

Grant me, indulgent Heaven, that I 

may live 
To see the miscreants feel the pains 

they give ! 
Deal Freedom's sacred treasures free 

as air, 
Till Slave and Despot be but things 

that were ! 



AGAINST THE EARL OF 
GALLOWAY. 

[" Why Burns detested Lord Galloway is 
not known, nor is it important to know." 
— Andrew Lang.] 

What dost thou in that mansion fair? 

Flit, Galloway, and find 
Some narrow, dirty, dungeon cavf^ 

The picture of thy mind. 



ON THE SAME. 

No Stewart art thou, Galloway : 
The Stewarts all w^ere brave. 

Besides, the Stewarts were but fools, 
Not one of them a knave. 



ON THE SAME. 

Bright ran thy line, O Galloway, 
Thro' many a far-famed sire ! 

So ran the far-famed Roman way, 
And ended in a mire. 



ON THE SAME, ON THE 
AUTHOR BEING THREAT- 
ENED WITH VENGEANCE. 

Spare me thy vengeance, Galloway! 

In quiet let me live : 
I ask no kindness at thy hand, 

For thou hast none to give. 



ON THE LAIRD OF LAGGAN. 

[Morine had bought the farm of Ellis- 
land.] 

When Morine, deceased, to the Devil 

went down, 
Twas nothing would serve him but 

Satan\s own crown. 
' Thy fooPs head,' quoth Satan, ^ that 

crown shall wear never : 
I grant thou'rt as wicked, but not 

quite so clever.' 



ON MARIA RIDDELL. 

[Inscribed on the back of a draft copy 
of "Scots Wha Hae." The heading is, 
" On my Lord Buchan's vociferating in an 
argument that ' Women must always be 
flattered grossly or not spoken to at all.' "J 

^Praise Woman still,' his lordship 
roars, 

' DeservYl or not, no matter ! ' 
But thee whom all my soul adores, 

There Flattery cannot flatter ! 
Maria, all my thought and dream. 

Inspires my vocal shell : 
The more I praise my lovely theme, 

The more the truth I tell. 



ON MISS FONTENELLE. 

[On seeing her in a favorite character. 
Published in Cunningham, 1834.] 

Sweet naivete of feature, 

Simple, wild, enchanting elf. 
Not to thee, but thanks to Nature 

Thou art acting but thyself. 
Wert thou awkward, stiff, affected. 

Spurning Nature, torturing art. 
Loves and Graces all rejected, 

Then indeed thou 'dst act a part. 



KIRK AND STATE EXCISEMEN. — OX CHLORIS. 



211 



KIRK AND STATE EXCISE- 
MEN. 

[Written on a window in the King's 
Arms, Dumfries.] 

Ye men of wit and wealth, why all 
this sneering 

'Gainst poor Excisemen? Give the 
cause a hearing. 

What are yom- Landlord's rent-rolls ? 
Taxing ledgers ! 

W'hat Premiers? What ev'n Mon- 
arch s ? Mighty Gangers ! 

Nay, what are Priests (those seeming 
godly wise-men) ? 

What are they, pray, but Spiritual 
Excisemen ! 



ON 



THANKSGIVING FOR 
NATIONAL VICTORY. 



[The victory was probably Howe's, off 
Ushant, June i, 1794.] 

Ye hypocrites ! are these your pranks ? 

To murder men, and give God thanks ? 

Desist for shame ! Proceed no fur- 
ther : 

God won't accept your thanks for 
Murther. 



PINNED TO MRS. WALTER 
RIDDELL'S CARRIAGE. 

If you rattle along like your mistress's 
tongue, 
Your speed will out-rival the dart ; 
But, a fly for your load, you '11 break 
down on the road, 
If your stuff be as rotten 's her 
heart. 



TO DR. MAXWELL. 

ON MISS JESSY STAIG'S RECOVERY. 

[Burns and Maxwell were fast friends. 
He attended Burns durins: his last illness. 



when the dying man presented him with his 
pistols.] 

Maxwell, if merit here you crave, 

That merit I deny : 
Vo2c save fair Jessie from the grave! — 

An Angel could not die ! 



TO THE BEAUTIFUL MISS 
ELIZA J N. 

ON HER PRINXIPLES OF LIBERTY 
AND EQUALITY. 

[The idea occurs, as Mr. Scott Douglas 
points out, in a Latin epigram of Dr. John- 
son's.] 

How, ^Liberty !' Girl, can it be by 
thee nam'd? 

' Equality,' too ! Hussey, art not 
asham'd ? 

Free and Equal indeed, while man- 
kind thou enchainest. 

And over their hearts a proud Despot 
so reignest. 



ON CHLORIS 

REQUESTING ME TO GIVE HER A 
SPRIG OF BLOSSOMED THORN. 

[Published in " The Edinburgh Adver- 
tiser" of Aug. 8, 1800. With an additional 
stanza, a change in the heroine's name, and 
a change in one of the lines, it was set to 
music by William Shield, and has been 
popular with English tenors ever since.] 

From the white- blossom'd sloe my 
dear Chloris requested 
A sprig, her fair breast to adorn : 
'No, by Heaven!' I exclaim'd, 'let 
me perish for ever, 
Ere I plant in that bosom a 
thorn ! ' 



J2I2 



TO MAULE OF PANMURE. — ON A GOBLET. 



TO THE HON. WM. R. MAULE 
OF PANMURE. 

[Published for the first time in the Cen- 
tenary edition. This gentleman bestowed 
an annuity of ^^50 on Burns's widow.] 

Thou Fool, in thy phaeton towering, 
Art proud when that phaeton 's 
praisM ? 

'T is the pride of a Thief's exhibition 
When higher his pillory 's rais'd. 



ON SEEING MRS. KEMBLE IN 
YARICO. 

[The lady was Mrs. Stephen Kemble, 
who appeared at the Dumfries Theatre in 
October, 1794.] 

Kemble, thou cur'st my unbelief 

Of Moses and his rod : 
At Yarico's sweet notes of grief 

The rock with tears had flow'd. 



ON DR. BABINGTON'S LOOKS. 

[Burns, in his letter to Mrs. Dunlop, re- 
fers to the subject of his satire as " a well- 
known character" in Dumfries.] 

That there is a falsehood in his 
looks 

I must and will deny : 
They say their Master is a knave, 

And sure they do not lie. 



ON ANDREW TURNER. 

[The epigram was written at Turner's 
own suggestion.] 

In Seventeen Hunder 'n Forty-Nine 
The Deil gat stuff to mak a swine, 
An' coost it in a corner : 



But wilily he changM his plan, 
An' shaped it something like a man, 
An' ca'd it Andrew Turner. 



THE SOLEMN LEAGUE AND 
COVENANT. 

[" As a rule, Burns preferred Dundee to 
the Covenanters." — Andrew Lang.] 

The Solemn League and Covenant 
Now brings a smile, now brings a 
tear. 
But sacred Freedom, too, was theirs : 
If thou'rt a slave, indulge thy 
sneer. 



TO JOHN SYME OF RYEDALE, 

WITH A PRESENT OF A DOZEN OF 
PORTER. 

[Mr. John Syme was one of the poet's 
constant companions. He possessed great 
talent, and Dr. Currie wished him to under- 
take the editing of the poet's life and writ- 
ings.] 

O HAD the malt thy strength of mind, 
Or hops the flavour of thy wit, 

'Twere drink for first of human kind — 
A gift that ev^n for Syme were fit. 

Jerusalem Tavern, 
Dumfries. 



ON A GOBLET. 

[The goblet belonged to Syme.] 

There's Death in the cup, so be- 
ware ! 
Nay, more — there is danger in 
touching ! 
But who can avoid the fell snare ? 
The man and his wine's so be- 
witching ! 



APOLOGY TO JOHN SYME.— TO JESSIE LEWARS. 



213 



APOLOGY TO JOHN SYME. 

[" On refusing to dine with him, after 
having been promised the first of company 
and the first of cookery, Dec. 17, 1795."] 

No more of vour ooiests, be thev titled 
or not. 
And cookery the first in the nation : 
Who is proof to thy personal converse 
and wit 
Is proof to all other temptation. 



ON MR. JAMES GRACIE. 

[Published in McDowell's "Burns in 
Dumfriesshire," 1870. Mr. Gracie was a 
local banker.] 

Gracie, thou art a man of worth, 
O, be thou Dean for ever I 

May he be damn'd to Hell hence- 
' forth. 
Who fauts thy weight or measure I 



AT FRIARS CARSE HERMIT- 



[" I copied these lines from a pane of 
glass in the Friars Caise Hermitage, on 
which they had been traced with the dia- 
mond of Burns." — ALLAN CUNNING- 
HAM.] 

To Riddell, much-lamented man, 

This ivied cot was dear : 
Wand'rer, dost value matchless worth ? 

This ivied cot revere. 



FOR AN ALTAR OF INDEPEND- 
ENCE. 

AT KERROUGHTRIE, THE SEAT OF 
MR. HERON. 

[Written in the summer of 1795. Pub- 
lished in Currie, 1800.] 

Thou of an independent mind, 
W^ith soul resolv"d, with soul resigned, 



Prepar'd Power's proudest frown to 

brave, 
Who wilt not be, nor have a slave. 
Virtue alone who dost revere, 
Thy own reproach alone dost fear : 
Approach this shrine, and worship 

here. 



VERSICLES TO JESSIE 
LEWARS. 

THE TOAST. 

[Inscribed on a goblet presented to Miss 
Lewars.] 

Fill me with the rosy wine ; 
Call a toast, a toast divine ; 
Give the Poet's darling flame ; 
Lovely Jessie be her name : 
Then thou mayest freely boast 
Thou hast given a peerless toast. 

THE MENAGERIE. 

[Written on the advertisement of a trav- 
elling show, handed to Burns in Jessie's 
presence.] 

I. 

Talk not to me of savages 
From Afric's burning sun ! 

No savage e'er can rend my heart 
As, Jessie, thou hast done. 

II. 

But Jessie's lovely hand in mine 
A mutual faith to plight — 

Not even to view the heavenly choir 
Would be so blest a sight. 

JESS-IKS ILLNESS. 

Say, sages, w^hat 's the charm on earth 
Can turn Death's dart aside ? 

It is not purity and worth. 
Else Jessie had not died! 

HER RECOVERY. 

But rarely seen since Nature's birth 

The natives of the sky I 
Yet still one seraph *s left on earth, 

For Jessie did not die. 



214 



ON MARRIAGE. — AT THE GLOBE TAVERN. 



ON MARRIAGE. 

[Printed for the first time in the Centen- 
ary edition, from a Ms. in possession of the 
pubhshers of that edition.] 

That hackney'd judge of human life, 
The Preacher and the King, 



Observes: 
wife 



The man that o:ets a 



He gets a noble thing. 



But how capricious are mankind, 
Now loathing, now desirous! 

We married men, how oft we find 
The best of things will tire us! 



GRACES. 



A POETS GRACE. 

[These stanzas appeared in " The Edin- 
burgh Courant," Aug. 27, 1789. The " Grace 
Before Meat " was inscribed in the " Glenrid- 
dell Book," and is printed in Currie, 1800. 
Both were pubHshed in OHver (Edinburgh, 
1801), Duncan (Glasgow, 1801), and Stew- 
art (Glasgow, 1802).] 

BEFORE MEAT. 

O Thou, who kindly dost provide 

For ev'ry creature's want ! 
We bless the God of Nature wide 

For all Thy goodness lent. 
And if it please Thee, heavenly Guide, 

May never worse be sent ; 
But, whether granted or denied, 

Lord, bless us with content. 



AFTER MEAT. 

O Thou, in whom we live and move, 

Who made the sea and shore. 
Thy goodness constantly we prove. 

And, grateful, would adore ; 
And, if it please Thee, Power above ! 

Still grant us with such store 
The friend we trust, the fair we love, 

And we desire no more. 



AT THE GLOBE TAVERN. 

BEFORE MEAT. 

O Lord, when hunger pinches sore, 
Do thou stand us in stead. 

And send us from Thy bounteous store 
A tup- or wether-head. 

AFTER MEAT. 



Lord [Thee] we thank, and Thee 
alone, 

For temporal gifts we little merit! 
At present we will ask no more : 

Let William Hislop bring the spirit. 



O Lord, since we have feasted thus, 

Which we so little merit. 
Let Meg now take the flesh away. 

And Jock bring in the spirit. 



O Lord, we do Thee humbly thank 

For that we little merit : 
Now Jean may tak the flesh away, 

And Will bring in the spirit. 



ON THE LAIRD OF BOGHEAD. — ON HOLY WILLIE. 



215 



EPITAPHS. 



ON JAMES GRIEVE, LAIRD 
OF BOGHEAD, TARBOLTON. 

[This epitaph is a sort of reversal of that 
on Gavin Hamilton.] 

Here lies Boghead amang the dead 

In hopes to get salvation ; 
But if such as he in Heav'n may be, 

Then welcome — hail ! damnation. 



ON WM. MUIR IN TARBOL- 
TON MILL. 

[Jean Armour, being expelled from her 
home, found shelter for a time with Mr. 
Muir's wife.] 

An honest man here lies at rest, 
As e^er God with His image blest : 
The friend of man, the friend of truth, 
The friend of age, and guide of youth : 
Few hearts like his — with virtue 

warmM, 
Few heads with knowledge so in- 

formM : 
If there 's another world, he hves in 

bliss ; 
If there is none, he made the best of 

this. 



ON JOHN RANKINE. 

[Adamhill, where Rankine lived, is a farm 
near Lochea.] 

Ae day, as Death, that gruesome carl, 
Was driving to the tither warP 
A mixtie-maxtie, motley squad 
And monie a guilt-bespotted lad : 
Black gowns of each denomination, 
And thieves of every rank and station. 
From him that wears the star and 

garter 
To him that wintles in a halter : 
Asham'd himself to see the wretches, 



He mutters, glowVing at the bitches : — 
' By God 1 11 not be seen behint them. 
Nor ^mang the spritual core present 

them. 
Without at least ae honest man 
i To grace this damn'd infernal clan ! ' 
I By Adamhill a glance he threw, 
' Lord God ! ' quoth he, ' I have it 

now, 
There's just the man I want, i' faith !' 
And quickly stoppit Rankine's breath. 



ON TAM THE CHAPMAN. 

[Reported to be one Thomas Kennedy, 
a schoolfellow of Burns, who turned com- 
mercial traveller.] 

As Tam the chapman on a day 
Wi' Death forgatherM by the way, 
Weel pleased he greets a wight so 

famous. 
And Death was nae less pleasM wi' 

Thomas, 
Wha cheerfully lays down his pack. 
And there blaws up a hearty crack : 
His social, friendly, honest heart 
Sae tickled Death, they could na 

part ; 
Sae, after viewing knives and garters, 
Death taks him hame to gie him 

quarters. 



ON HOLY WILLIE. 

[" Unpublished by Burns, and Burns 
was commonly a good critic of his own 
work." — Andrew Lang.] 



Here Holy Willie's sair worn clay 

Taks up its last abode ; 
His saul has taen some other way - 

I fear, the left-hand road. 



2l6 



ON JOHN DOVE. — OX ROBERT FERGUSSON. 



II. 

Stop ! there he is, as sure 's a gun ! 

Poor, silly body, see him ! 
Nae wonder he's as black 's the 
grun — 

Observe wha 's standing wi' him ! 

III. 

Your brunstane Devilship, I see, 
Has got him there before ye ! 

But haud your nine-tail-cat a wee. 
Till ance you Ve heard my story. 

IV. 

Your pity I will not implore, 

For pity ye have nane. 
Justice, alas ! has gi'en him o'er, 

And mercy's day is gane. 



But hear me, Sir, Deil as ye are, 
Look something to your credit : 

A cuif like him wad stain your name, 
If it were kent ye did it ! 



ON JOHN DOVE, INNKEEPER. 

[Dove was landlord of the Whitefoord 
Arms, Mauchline.] 

I. 

Here lies Johnie Pigeon : 
What w^as his religion 

Whae'er desires to ken 
To some other warP 
Maun follow the carl, 

For here Johnie Pigeon had nane ! 

II. 

Strong ale was ablution ; 
Small beer, persecution ; 

A dram was ?nemento mort; 
But a full flowing bowl 
Was the saving his soul, 

And port was celestial glory ! 



ON A WAG IN iMAUCHLINE 
[James Smith, a member of the Club.] 



Lament him, Mauchline husbands a\ 

He aften did assist ye ; 
For had ye staid hale weeks awa'. 

Your wives they ne'er had missed 



ye 



II. 



Ye Mauchline bairns, as on ye pass 
To school in bands thegither, 

O, tread ye lightly on his grass — 
Perhaps he was your father ! 



OX ROBERT FERGUSSON. 

ON THE TOMBSTONE IN THE CANON- 
GATE CHURCHYARD. 

HERE LIES ROBERT FERGUSSON. 
BORN SEPT. 5TH, I751. 
DIED OCT. r6TH, I774. 

[On the reverse of the stone is the decla- 
ration, " By special grant of the Managers 
to Robert Burns, who erected this stone, 
this burial-place is to remain forever sacred 
to the memory of Robert Fergusson."] 

No sculptur'd Marble here, nor pom- 
pous lay. 
No storied Urn nor animated Bust ; 
This simple stone directs pale Scotia's 
way 
To pour her sorrow o'er the Poet's 
dust. 



Additional Stanzas, 
not inscribed. 

I. 

She mourns, sweet tuneful youth, thy 
hapless fate : 



FOR WILLIAM NICOL. — MONODY. 



217 



Tho' all the powers of song thy 

fancy fir'd. 
Yet Luxury and Wealth lay by in 

State, 
And, thankless, starved what they 

so much admired. 



II. 

This humble tribute with a tear he 
gives 
A brother Bard — he can no more 
bestow : 
But dear to fame thy Song immortal 
lives, 
A nobler monument than Art can 
show. 



FOR WILLIAM NICOL. 

[Burns counted Nicol his " dearest 
friend," after his own brother.] 

Ye maggots, feed on NicoFs brain, 
For few sic feasts you 've gotten ; 

And fix your claws in NicoPs heart, 
For deil a bit o't 's rotten. 



FOR MR. WILLIAM MICHIE, 

SCHOOLMASTER OF CLEISH PARISH, 
FIFESHIRE. 

[There is no record of Burns's acquaint- 
ance with William Michie.] 

Here lie Willie Michie's banes : 
O Satan, when ye 'cak him, 

Gie him the schulin o' your weans, 
For clever deils he Ul mak them ! 



FOR WILLIAM CRUICKSHANK, 
A.M. 

[Cruickshank was a schoolmaster in 
Edinburgh. His daughter Jenny was a 
favorite with the poet.] 



Now honest 
Heaven, 



William 's 



gaen to 



I wat na sfin 't can mend him : 



The fauts he had in Latin lay. 
For nane in English kent them. 



ON ROBERT MUIR. 

[Muir subscribed with great liberality to 
both the Kilmarnock and the Edinburgh 
editions, and letters to him are included in 
the Burns correspondence.] 

What man could esteem, or what 
woman could love, 
Was he w^ho lies under this sod : 
If such Thou refusest admission above. 
Then whom w^ilt Thou favour. Good 
God? 



ON A LAP-DOG. 

[The lap-dog belonged to Mrs. Gordon 
of Kenmore. The little beast had died just 
before Burns visited her during his Gallo- 
way tour, and she was importunate that he 
should write its epitaph.] 



In wood and wild, ye warbling throng, 

Your heavy loss deplore : 
Now half extinct your powers of song — 

Sweet Echo is no more.- 

II. 

Ye jarring, screeching things around. 

Scream your discordant joys : 
Now half your din of tuneless sound 

With Echo silent lies. 



MONODY 



ON A LADY FAMED FOR HER CAPRICE. 

[The lady was Mrs. Walter Riddell, with 
whom the poet had quarrelled, and become 
greatly embittered.] 

I. 

How cold is that bosom which Folly 

once fired ! 



2l8 



FOR MR. WALTER RIDDELL. — OX CAPT. LASCELLES. 



How pale is that cheek where the 

rouge lately glisten'd ! 
How silent that tongue which the 

echoes oft tired ! 
How dull is that ear which to flattVy 

so listened ! 

n. 

If sorrow and anguish their exit await, 
From friendship and dearest affec- 
tion removed. 
How doubly severer, Maria, thy fate ! 
Thou diedst unwept, as. thou livedst 
unlov'd. 

III. 

Loves, Graces, and Virtues, I call not 
on you : 
So shy, grave, and distant, ye shed 
not a tear. 
But come, all ye offspring of Folly so 
true, 
And flowers let us cull for Maria's 
cold bier ! 

IV. 

We *11 search through the garden for 
each silly flower. 
We '11 roam thro' the forest for each 
idle weed. 
But chiefly the nettle, so typical, 
shower. 
For none e'er approach'd her but 
rued the rash deed. 

V. 

We'll sculpture the marble, we'll 
measure the lay : 
Here Vanitv strums on her idiot 
lyre ! 
There keen Indignation shall dart on 
his prey. 
Which spurning contempt shall re- 
deem from his ire ! 

THE EPITAPH. 

Here lies, now a prey to insulting 
neglect, 



What once was a butterfly, gay in 
life's beam : 
Want only of wisdom denied her 
respect, 
Want only of goodness denied her 
esteem. * 



FOR MR. WALTER RIDDELL. 

[Enclosed in a letter to Peter Hill, prob- 
ably of October, 1794, and also in an un- 
dated letter to Mrs. Dunlop.] 

So vile was poor Wat, such a mis- 
creant slave. 

That the worms ev'n damn"d him 
when laid in his grave. 

'In his scull there's a famine.' a 
starved reptile cries ; 

' And his heart, it is poison,' another 
replies. 



ON A NOTED COXCOMB. 

CAPT. WM. RODDICK, OF CORBISTON. 

[Who. this noted coxcomb was none of 
the poet's editors have pointed out; but 
we are assured that the lines are copied 
from the author's Ms. — ScoTT DOUGLAS.] 

Light lay the earth on Billie's breast, 
His chicken heart's so tender; 

But build a castle on his head — 
His scull will prop it under. 



ON CAPT. LASCELLES. 

[Published in Scott Douglas, 1877.] 

When Lascelles thought fit from this 
world to depart. 

Some friends warmly spoke of em- 
balming his heart. 

A bystander whispers : — ' Pray don't 
make so much o 't — 

The subject is poison, no reptile wilJ 
touch it.' 



ON A GALLOWAY LAIRD. — ON GRIZZEL GRIMME. 



219 



ON A GALLOWAY LAIRD. 

NOT QUITE SO WISE AS SOLOMON. 

[David Maxwell of Cardoness — de- 
scribed to Mrs. Dunlop as a "stupid, 
money-loving dunderpate," and alluded to 
with great contempt in an epigram, was 
created a baronet in 1804, and died in 1825.] 

Bless Jesus Christ, O Cardoness, 

With grateful lifted eyes, 
Who taught that not the soul alone 

But body too shall rise! 
For had He said : — ' The soul alone 

From death I will deliver,' 
Alas ! alas ! O Cardoness, 

Then hadst thou lain for ever ! 



ON WM 



GRAHAM OF MOSS- 
KNOWE. 



[Cunningham (1840). Sent to Creech, 
and inscribed in the " Glenriddell Book."] 

' Stop thief ! ' Dame Nature call'd 

to Death, 
As Willie drew his latest breath : 
' How shall I make a fool again? 
My choicest model thou hast taen.' 



ON JOHN BUSHBY OF TIN- 
WALD DOWNS. 

[Bushby, the son of a spirit-dealer in 
Dumfries, became a lawyer, and afterwards 
a private banker in the same town.] 

Here lies John Bushby — honest 

man ! 
Cheat him, Devil — if you can ! 



ON A SUICIDE. 

[Cunningham says that Burns was seen 
to write the trash on a piece of paper, and 



"thrust it with his fingers into the red 
mould of the grave."] 

Here lies in earth a root of Hell 
Set by the DeiPs ain dibble : 

This worthless body damnM himsel 
To save the Lord the trouble. 



ON A SWEARING COXCOMB. 

[" This was an English swell, who had a 
constant practice of using such impreca- 
tions."— ScOTT Douglas.] 

Here cursing, swearing Burton lies, 
A buck, a beau, or '- Dem my eyes ! ' 
Who in his life did little good, 
And his last words were : — ' Dem 
my blood ! ' 



ON AN INNKEEPER NICK- 
NAMED ^the marquis.' 

[PubHshed in Duncan, Glasgow, 1801. 
The inn was in a Dumfries close.] 

Here lies a mock Marquis, whose 

titles were shamm'd. 
If ever he rise, it will be to be damn'd. 



ON GRIZZEL GRIMME. 

[Mrs. Grizzel Young was the widow of 
Thomas Young of Lincluden.] 

Here lyes with Dethe auld Grizzel 
Grimme 
Lincluden^s ugly witche. 
O Dethe, an^ what a taste hast 
thou 
Cann lye with siche a bitche ! 



220 



FOR GABRIEL RICHARDSON. — 0:\^ THE AUTHOR. 



FOR GABRIEL RICHARDSON. 

[Gabriel Richardson was the chief 
brewer of Dumfries, and provost of the 
burgh in 1802-3.] 

Here brewer Gabriel's fire's extinct, 
And empty all his barrels : 

He's blest — if as he brew'd, he 
drink — 
In upright, virtuous morals. 



ON THE AUTHOR. 

[Written by Burns while on his death- 
bed to John Rankine, Ayrshire, and for- 
warded to him immediately after the poet's 
death.] 

He who of Rankine sang, lies stiff 

and deid. 
And a green, grassy hillock hides his 

heid : 
Alas! alas! a devilish change indeed! 



YOUNG PEGGY. — BONIE DUNDEE. 



221 



SONGS FROM JOHNSON'S ^^ MUSICAL MUSEUM" 
AND THOMSON'S '^ SCOTTISH AIRS." 



YOUNG PEGGY. 

[Margaret, daugliter of Robert Kennedy, 
of Daljarroch, Ayrshire, and niece of Mr. 
Gavin Hamilton.] 



Young Peggy blooms our boniest 
lass : 

Her blush is like the morning, 
The rosy dawn the springing grass 

With early gems adorning ; 
Her eyes outshine the radiant beams 

That gild the passing shower, 
And glitter o'er the crystal streams, 

And cheer each freshening flower. 

II. 

Her lips, more than the cherries 
bright — 

A richer dye has graced them — 
They charm the admiring gazer's sight, 

And sweetly tempt to taste them. 
Her smile is as the evening mild, 

When feathered pairs are courting, 
And little lambkins wanton wild, 

In playful bands disporting. 

III. 

Were Fortune lovely Peggy's foe, 

Such sweetness would relent her : 
As blooming Spring unbends the brow 

Of surly, savage Winter. 
Detraction's eye no aim can gain 

Her winning powers to lessen. 
And fretful Envy grins in vain 

The poison'd tooth to fasten. 

IV. 

Ye Pow'rs of Honour, Love, and 

Truth, 
From ev'ry ill defend her ! 
Inspire the highly-favour'd youth 
The destinies intend her! 



Still fan the sweet connubial flame 
Responsive in each bosom. 

And bless the dear parental name 
With many a filial blossom ! 



BONIE DUNDEE. 

[A fragment of folk-ballad, with modifi 
cations and additions by Burns.] 

I. 

^O, WHAR gat ye that hauver-meal 
bannock? ' 
' O silly blind body, O, dinna ye see ? 
I gat it frae a young, brisk sodger lad- 
die 
Between Saint Johnston and bonie 
Dundee. 
O, gin I saw the laddie that gae me 't ! 
Aft has he doudPd me up on his 
knee : 
May Heaven protect my bonie Scots 
laddie, 
And send him hame to his babie 
and me ! 

II. 

^My blessin's upon thy sweet, wee 
lippie ! 
My blessin's upon thy bonie e'e 
brie ! 
Thy smiles are sae like my blythe 
sodger laddie, 
Thou 's ay the dearer and dearer to 
me ! 
But I '11 big a bow'r on yon bonie 
banks, 
Whare Tay rins wimplin by sae 
clear ; 
And I '11 deed thee in the tartan sae 
fine. 
And mak thee a man like thy daddie 
dear. 



222 



O, WHISTLE AN' I'LL COME TO YE, MY LAD. 



TO THE WEAVER'S GIN YE 
GO. 

[" The chorus of this song is old, the rest 
is mine." (R. B.)] 

Chorus. 

To the weaver's gin ye go, fair maids, 
To the weaver's gin ye go, 

I rede you right, gang ne'er at night, 
To the weaver's gin ye go. 

I. 

My heart was ance as blythe and free 
As simmer days were lang ; 

But a bonie, westHn weaver lad 
Has gart me change my sang. 

II. 

My mither sent me to the town, 

To warp a plaiden wab ; 
But the weary, weary warpin o 't 

Has gart me sigh and sab. 

III. 

A bonie, westlin weaver lad 

Sat working at his loom ; 
He took my heart, as wi' a net, 

In every knot and thrum. 

IV. 

I sat beside my warpin-wheel, 

And ay I ca'd it roun' ; 
And every shot and every knock, 

My heart it gae a stoun. 



The moon was sinking in the west 

Wi' visage pale and wan, 
As my bonie, westlin weaver lad 

Convoy'd me thro' the glen. 

VI. 

But what was said, or what was done, 

Shame fa' me gin I tell ; 
But O ! I fear the kintra soon 

Will ken as weel 's mysel ! 



Chorus. 

To the weaver's gin ye go, fair maids, 
To the weaver's gin ye go, 

I rede you right, gang ne'er at night. 
To the weavers gin ye go. 



O, WHISTLE AN' I'LL COME 
TO YE, MY LAD. 

[This song has hitherto been held pure 
Burns. But he found his chorus in the 
Herd MS.] 

Chorus. 

O, whistle an' I '11 come to ye, my 

lad! 
O, whistle an' I '11 come to ye, my 

lad! 
Tho' father an' mother an' a' should 

gae mad, 
O, whistle an' I '11 come to ye, my 

lad! 



But warily tent when ye come to 

court me, 
And come nae unless the back-yett 

be a-jee ; 
Syne up the back-style, and let nae- 

body see. 
And come as ye were na com in to 

me. 
And come as ye were na comin to 



me 



II. 



At kirk, or at market, whene'er ye 

meet me. 
Gang by me as tho' that ye car'd na 

a flie ; 
But steal me a blink o' your bonie 

black e'e, 
Yet look as ye were na lookin to me. 
Yet look as ye were na lookin to me ! 

III. 

Ay vow and protest that ye care na 
for me, 



I'M O'ER YOUNG TO MARRY.— THE BIRKS OF ABERFELDIE. 223 



And whyles ye may lightly my beauty 

a wee ; 
But court na anither tho' jokin ye be, 
For fear that she wyle your fancy frae 

me. 
For fear that she wyle your fancy frae 

me ! 

Chorus, 

O, whistle an' I '11 come to ye, my 

lad! 
O, whistle an' I Ul come to ye, my 

lad! 
Tho' father an' mother an' a' should 

gae mad, 
O, whistle an' I '11 come to ye, my 

lad! 



I'M O'ER YOUNG TO MARRY 
YET. 

["The chorus of this song is old; the 
rest of it, such as it is, is mine." (R. B.)] 

Chorus, 

I 'm o'er young, I 'm o'er young, 
I 'm o'er young to marry yet ! 

I 'm o'er young, 't wad be a sin 
To tak me frae my mammie yet. 

I. 

I AM my mammie's ae bairn, 
Wi' unco folk I weary. Sir, 

And lying in a man's bed, 

I 'm fley'd it make me eerie, Sir. 

II. 

Hallowmass is come and gane. 
The nights are lang in winter. Sir, 

And you an' I in ae bed — 

In trowth, I dare na venture. Sir I 

III. 

Fu' loud and shrill the frosty wind 
Blaws thro' the leafless timmer, 
Sir, 



But if ye come this gate again, 
I '11 aulder be gin simmer, Sir. 

Chorus. 

I 'm o'er young, I'm o'er young, 
I 'm o'er young to marry yet ! 

I 'm o'er young, 't wad be a sin 
To tak me frae my mammie yet. 



THE BIRKS OF ABERFELDIE. 

[" I composed these stanzas standing 
under the Falls of Moness, at or near 
Aberfeldy." (R. B.)] 

Choriis, 

Bonie lassie, will ye go, 
Will ye go, will ye go '^, 
Bonie lassie, will ye go 

To the birks of Aberfeldie ? 



Now simmer blinks on flow'ry braes. 
And o'er the crystal streamlets plays, 
Come, let us spend the lightsome 
days 
In the birks of Aberfeldie ! 

II. 

The little birdies blythely sing. 
While o'er their heads the hazels 

hing, 
Or lightly flit on wanton wing 
In the birks of Aberfeldie. 

III. 

The braes ascend like lofty wa's, 
The foaming stream, deep-roaring, fa's 
O'er hung with fragrant-spreading 
shaws, 
The birks of Aberfeldie. 



IV. 

The hoary cliffs are crown'd wi' 

flowers, 
White o'er the linns the burnie pours, 



224 MTHERSON'S FAREWELL. — MY HIGHLAND LASSIE, O. 



And, rising, weets \vi^ misty showers 
The birks of Aberfeldie. 



Let Fortune's gifts at random flee, 
They ne'er shall draw a wish frae me, 
Supremely blest wi' love and thee 
In the birks of Aberfeldie. 



Chorus, 

Bonie lassie, will ye go, 
Will ye go, will ye go? 
Bonie lassie, will ye go 

To the birks of Aberfeldie ? 



MTHERSON'S FAREWELL. 

[" M'Pherson, a daring robber in the be- 
ginning of this century, was condemned to 
be hanged at the Assizes of Inverness. He 
is said, when under sentence of death, to 
have composed this tune, which he calls his 
own Lament, or Farewell." — R. B. This 
song was a favorite one of Carlyle's, who 
sang it with great enthusiasm.] 

Chortis, 

Sae rantingly, sae wantonly, 
Sae dauntingly gaed he, 

He play'd a spring, and danc'd it 
round 
Below the gallows-tree. 



I. 

Farewell, ye dungeons dark and 
strong, 

The wretch's destinie 1 
M'Pherson's time will not be long 

On yonder gallows-tree. 



II. 

O, what is death but parting breath ? 

On many a bloody plain 
I 've dar'd his face, and in this place 

I scorn him yet again ! 



III. 

Untie these bands from off my hands, 
And bring to me my sword. 

And there 's no a man in all Scot- 
land 
But I '11 brave him at a word. 

IV. 

I Ve livM a life of sturt and strife ; 

I die by treacherie : 
It burns my heart I must depart, 

And not avenged be. 

V. 

Now farewell light, thou sunshine 
bright. 

And all iDeneath the sky ! 
May coward shame distain his name. 

The wretch that dare not die ! 

Chorus. 

Sae rantingly, sae wantonly, 
Sae dauntingly gaed he. 

He playM a spring, and danc'd it 
round 
Below the gallows-tree. 



MY HIGHLAND LASSIE, O. 

[" This was a composition of mine in 
very early life, before I was known at all in 
the world. My ' Highland Lassie * was a 
warm-hearted charming young creature as 
ever blessed a man with generous love." 
(R. B.)] 

Chorus. 
Within the glen sae bushy, O, 
Aboon the plain sae rashy, O, 
I set me down wi' right guid will 
To sing my Highland lassie, O I 

I. 

Nae gentle dames, tho' ne'er sae 

fair. 
Shall ever be my Muse's care : 
Their titles a' are empty show--- 
Gie me my Highland lassie, O ! 



THO' CRUEL FATE. — STRATHALLAN'S LAMENT. 



225 



II. 



O, were yon hills and vallies mine, 
Yon palace and yon gardens fine, 
The world then the love should 

know 
I bear my Highland lassie, O ! 



III. 



But fickle Fortune frowns on me, 
And I maun cross the raging sea ; 
But while my crimson currents flow 
I '11 love my Highland lassie, O. 



IV. 



Altho' thro^ foreign climes I range, 
I know her heart will never change ; 
For her bosom burns with honour's 

glow. 
My faithful Highland lassie, O. 



For her I '11 dare the billows' roar, 
For her I '11 trace a distant shore. 
That Indian wealth may lustre throw 
Around my Highland lassie, O. 

VI. 

She has my heart, she has my hand. 
My secret troth and honour's band ! 
'Till the mortal stroke shall lay me 

low, 
I 'm thine, my Highland lassie, O ! 

Chorus. 

Farewell the glen sae bushy, O ! 
, Farewell the plain sae rashy, O ! 
To other lands I now must go 
To sing my Highland lassie, O. 



THO' CRUEL FATE. 

[Written for Johnson's "Musical Mu- 
seum."] 

Tho' cruel fate should bid us part 
Far as the pole and line, 

Q 



Her dear idea round my heart 

Should tenderly entwine. 
Tho' mountains rise, and deserts 
howl. 

And oceans roar between. 
Yet dearer than my deathless soul 

I still would love my Jean. 



STAY, MY CHARMER. 

[Written for Johnson's "Musical Mu- 
seum."] 

I. 

Stay, my charmer, can you leave me ? 
Cruel, cruel to deceive me ! 
Well you know how much you grieve 
me : 

Cruel charmer, can you go ? 

Cruel charmer, can you go 1 

II. 

By my love so ill-requited. 

By the faith you fondly plighted, 

By the pangs of lovers slighted. 

Do not, do not leave me so ! 

Do not, do not leave me so ! 



STRATHALLAN'S LAMENT. 

[The Strathallan of the " Lament " was 
James Drummond, eldest son of William, 
4th Viscount Strathallan, killed at Culloden, 
April 14, 1746.] 



Thickest night, surround my dwell- 
ing ! 

Howling tempests, o'er me rave ! 
Turbid torrents wintry-swelling. 

Roaring by my lonely cave ! 
Crystal streamlets gently flowing, 

Busy haunts of base mankind. 
Western breezes softly blowing. 

Suit not my distracted mind. 



226 



MY HOGGIE. — UP IN THE MORNING EARLY. 



In the cause of Right engaged, 

Wrongs injurious to redress, 
Honour's war we strongly waged, 

But the heavens deny'd success. 
Ruin's wheel has driven o'er us : 

Not a hope that dare attend, 
The wide world is all before us, 

But a world without a friend. 



MY HOGGIE 

[Lines written to an old air. Burns says : 
" No person, except a few females at IMoss- 
paul, knew this fine old tune."] 



What will I do gin my hoggie die ? 

My joy, my pride, my hoggie ! 
My only beast, I had nae mae. 

And vow but I was vogie ! 
The lee-lang night we watched the 
fauld, 

Me and my faithfu' doggie ; 
We heard nocht but the roaring linn 

Amang the braes sae scroggie. 

II. 

But the houlet crv'd frae the castle 
wa\ 

The blitter frae the boggie. 
The tod reply'd upon the hill : 

I trembled for my hoggie. 
When day did daw, and cocks 
craw. 

The morning it was foggie. 
An unco tyke lap cr'er the dyke. 

And maist has kilFd my hoggie ! 



did 



JUMPIN JOHN. 

[Fragment of an old humorous ballad, 
with verbal corrections by Burns.] 

Chorus. 

The lang lad they ca' Jumpin John 
Beguird the bonie lassie ! 

The lang lad they ca' Jumpin John 
Beguird the bonie lassie ! 



I. 

Her daddie forbad, her minnie for- 
bad ; 
Forbidden she wadna be : 
She wadna trow 't, the browst she 
brew'd 
Wad taste sae bitterlie ! 



II. 

A cow and a cauf, a yowe and a hauf, 
And thretty guid shillins and three : 

A vera guid tocher! a cotter-man's 
dochter. 
The lass with the bonie black e'e ! 

Choriis. 

The lang lad they ca' Jumpin John 
Beguird the bonie lassie ! 

The lang lad they ca' Jumpin John 
Beguird the bonie lassie ! 



UP IN THE MORNING EARLY. 

[" The chorus of this song is old ; the two 
stanzas are mine." (R. B.)] 

Chorus, 

Up in the morning 's no for me, 

Up in the morning early! 
When 2i the hills are covered wi' snaw, 

I 'm sure it 's winter fairly! 



Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west, 
The drift is driving sairly, 

Sae loud and shrill 's I hear the blast — 
I 'm sure it 's winter fairly ! 



II. 

The birds sit chittering in the thorn, 
A' day they fare but sparely ; 

And lang's the night frae e'en to 
morn — 
I 'm sure it 's wdnter fairly. 



THE YOUNG HIGHLAND ROVER. — I DREAM'D I LAY. 



227 



Cho7'us. 

Up in the morning 's no for me, 

Up in the morning early ! 
When 2i the hills are cover'd wi' snaw, 

I 'm sure it 's winter fairly ! 



THE YOUNG HIGHLAND 
ROVER. 

[Intended to commemorate his visit to 
Castle Gordon in 1787.] 

I. 

Loud blaw the frosty breezes, 
The snaws the mountains cover. 

Like winter on me seizes, 

Since my young Highland rover 
Far wanders nations over. 

Where'er he go, where'er he stray. 
May Heaven be his warden ! 

Return him safe to fair Strathspey 
And bonie Castle Gordon ! 



II. 

The trees, now naked groaning, 
Shall soon wi' leaves be hinging. 

The birdies, dowie moaning, 
Shall a' be blythely singing. 
And every flower be springing : 

Sae I '11 rejoice the lee-lang day. 
When (by his mighty Warden) 

My youth *s returned to fair Strathspey 
And bonie Castle Gordon. 



THE DUSTY MILLER. 

[Fragment of an old ballad, with verbal 
alterations by Burns. Partly traditional.] 



I. 

Hey the dusty miller 
And his dusty coat ! 

He will spend a shilling 
Or he win a groat. 



Dusty was the coat, 
Dusty was the colour, 

Dusty was the kiss 

That I gat frae the miller ! 



II. 

Hey the dusty miller 

And his dusty sack ! 
Leeze me on the calling 

Fills the dusty peck ! 
Fills the dusty peck. 

Brings the dusty siller ! 
I wad gie my coatie 

For the dusty miller ! 



I DREAM'D I LAY. 

[" These two stanzas I composed wheii 
I was seventeen ; they are among the oldest 
of my printed pieces." (R. B.)] 

I. 

I dream'd I lay where flowers were 
springing 
Gaily in the sunny beam, 
Lisfning to the wild birds singing. 

By a falling crystal stream ; 
Straight the sky grew black and 
daring. 
Thro' the woods the whirlwinds 
rave, 
Trees with aged arms w^ere warring 
O'er the swelling, drumlie wave. 



II. 

Such was my life's deceitful morning. 

Such the pleasures I enjoy'd ! 
But lang or noon loud tempests, 
storming, 

A' my flowery bliss destroy'd. 
Tho' fickle Fortune has deceiv'd me 

(She promised fair, and perform'd 
but ill). 
Of monie a joy and hope bereav'd me, 

I bear a heart shall support me still. 



228 



DUNCAN DAVISON. — LADY ONLIE, HONEST LUCKY. 



DUNCAN DAVISON. 

[Stenhouse affirms that this song is by 
Burns, although he did not choose to avow 
it.] 

I. 

There was a lass, they ca'd her Meg, 

And she held o'er the moors to spin ; 
There was a lad that followed her, 

They caM him Duncan Davison. 
The moor was dreigh, and Meg was 
skeigh. 

Her favour Duncan could na win ; 
For wi' the rock she wad him knock, 

And ay she shook the temper-pin. 

II. 

As o'er the moor they lightly foor, 

A burn was clear, a glen was green ; 
Upon the banks they eas'd their 
shanks. 

And ay she set the wheel between : 
But Duncan swoor a haly aith, 

That Meg should be a bride the 
morn ; 
Then Meg took up her spinnin-graith. 

And flang them a' out o'er the burn. 

III. 

We will big a w^e, wee house, 

And we will live like king and queen, 
Sae blythe and merry 's we will be. 

When ye set by the wheel at e'en ! 
A man may drink, and no be drunk ; 

A man may fight, and no be slain ; 
A man may kiss a bonie lass. 

And ay be welcome back again ! 



THENIEt MENZIES' BONIE 
MARY. 

[" Nothing is known of this Aberdeen- 
shire beauty." — Andrew Lang.] 

Chorus. 

Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary, 
Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary, 
Charlie Grigor tint his plaidie, 
Kissin Theniel's bonie Mary ! 



In comin by the brig o' Dye, 
At Darlet we a blink did tarry ; 

As day was dawin in the sky. 

We drank a health to bonie Mary. 



II. 



Her een sae bright, her brow sae white 
Her haffet locks as brown 's a berry. 

And ay they dimpl't wi' a smile, 
The rosy cheeks o' bonie Mary. 

III. 

We lap an' danc'd the lee-lang day, 
Till piper-lads were wae and weary ; 

But Charlie gat the spring to pay. 
For kissin Theniel's bonie Mary. 

Chorus, 

Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary, 
Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary, 
Charlie Grigor tint his plaidie, 
Kissin Theniel's bonie Mary ! 



LADY ONLIE, HONEST LUCKY. 

[" Burns probably picked up the chorus 
during his northern tour."] 

Chorus, 

Lady Onlie, honest lucky. 

Brews guid ale at shore o' Bucky : 
I wish her sale for her guid ale. 

The best on a' the shore o' Bucky ! 

I. 

A' THE lads o' Thorniebank, 

When they gae to the ' shore o' 
Bucky, 

They '11 step in an' tak a pint 
W^i' Lady Onlie, honest lucky. 

II. 

Her house sae bien, her curch sae 
clean — 
I wat she is a dainty chuckle. 



THE BANKS OF THE DEVON. — DUXCAX GRAY. 



229 



And cheery blinks the ingle-gleede 
0' Lady Onlie, honest lucky ! 



CJl07'US. 

Lady Onlie, honest lucky. 

Brews guid ale at shore o* Bucky : 
I wish her sale for her guid ale, 

The best on a' the shore o" Bucky ! 



THE BANKS OF THE DEVON. 

[" These verses were composed on a 
charming girl, a Miss Charlotte Hamilton. 
I first heard the air from a lady in Inver- 
ness." (R. B.)] 



How pleasant the banks of the clear 
winding Devon, 
With green spreading bushes and 
flow'rs blooming fair ! 
But the boniest fiow'r on the banks 
of the Devon 
Was once a sweet bud on the braes 
of the Ayr. 
Mild be the sun on this sweet blush- 
ing flower. 
In the gay rosy morn, as it bathes 
in the dew ! 
And gentle the fall of the soft vernal 
shower. 
That steals on the evening each 
leaf to renew ! 



n. 



O. spare the dear blossom, ye orient 
breezes. 
With chill, hoary wing as ye usher 
the dawn ! 

And far be thou distant, thou reptile 
that seizes 
The verdure and pride of the gar- 
den or lawn ! 

Let Bourbon exult in his gay gilded 
lilies. 



And England triumphant display 
her proud rose ! 
A fairer than either adorns the green 
vallies. 
Where Devon, sweet Devon, mean- 
derino: flows. 



DUNCAN GRAY. 



[Founded on a song preserved in the 
Herd Ms. with variations by Burns.] 



Weary fa' you, Duncan Gray ! 

(Ha. ha, the girdin o 't !) 
Wae gae by you, Duncan Gray ! 

(Ha, ha,'the girdin o 't !) 
When a the lave gae to their play, 
Then I maun sit the lee-lang day, 
And jeeg the cradle wi' my tae, 

And a* for the orirdin o 't ! 



n. 



Bonie was the Lammas moon 

(Ha, ha, the girdin o 't !), 
Glowrin a' the hills aboon 

(Ha, ha, the girdin o*t I). 
The girdin brak, the beast cam down, 
I tint my curch and baith my shoon. 
And, Duncan, ye 're an unco loun — 

Wae on the bad girdin o 't ! 



III. 



But Duncan, gin ye '11 keep your aith 

(Ha. ha, the girdin o 't !), 
I *se bless you wa' my hindmost breath 

(Ha, ha, the girdin o *t !). 
Duncan, gin ye "11 keep your aith, 
The beast again can bear us baith. 
And auld Mess John will mend the 
skaith 
And clout the bad drdin o't. 



230 THE PLOUGH iM AN.— RAVING WINDS AROUND HER BLOWING. 



THE PLOUGHMAN. 

[Founded on a coarse old song preserved 
in "The Merry Muses."] 

Chorus, 

Then up wiH a', my ploughman lad, 
And hey,, my merry ploughman ! 

Of a' tJie trades that I do ken, 
Commend me to the ploughman ! 

I. 

The ploughman, he 's a bonie lad, 

His mind is ever true, jo ! 
His garters knit below his knee, 

His bonnet it is blue, jo. 

II. 

I hae been east, I hae been west, 
I hae been at St. Johnston ; 

The boniest sight that e'er I saw 
Was the ploughman laddie dancin. 

III. 

Snaw-white stockings on his legs 
And siller buckles glancin, 

A guid blue bonnet on his head, 
And O, but he was handsome ! 

IV. 

Commend me to the barn-yard 

And the corn mou, man ! 
I never got my coggie fou 

Till I met wi' the ploughman. 

Chorus, 

Then up wi 't a', my ploughman lad, 
And hey, my merry ploughman ! 

Of a' the trades that I do ken. 
Commend me to the ploughman ! 



LANDLADY, COUNT THE 
LAWIN. 

[" I have met the tradition universally 
over Scotland that this air was Robert 



Bruce's march to Bannockburn." (R. B.) 
Burns afterwards wrote " Scots Wha Hae" 
to it.] 

Chorus. 

Hey tutti, taiti. 
How tutti, taita. 
Hey tutti, taiti, 
Wha's fou now? 



Landlady, count the lawin. 
The day is near the dawin ; 
Ye 're a^ blind drunk, boys, 
And I 'm but jolly fou. 

II. 

Cog, an ye were ay fou, 
Cog, an ye were ay fou, 
I wad sit and sing to you, 
If ye were ay fou ! 

III. 

Weel may ye a' be ! 
Ill may ye never see I 
God bless the king 
And the companie I 

CJiorus. 

Hey tutti, taiti. 
How tutti, taiti. 
Hey tutti, taiti, 
Wha 's fou now ? 



RAVING WINDS AROUND 
HER BLOWING. 

[" I composed these verses on Miss 
Isabella Macleod of Rasa, alluding to her 
feelings on the death of her sister." 



I. 



(R.B.)] 



Raving winds around her blowing, 
Yellow leaves the woodlands strow- 

ing, 
By a river hoarsely roaring, 
Isabella stray'd deploring : — 



HOW LANG AND DREARY IS THE NIGHT. — BLYTHE WAS SHE. 231 



^Farewell hours that late did measure 
Sunshine days of joy and pleasure ! 
Hail, thou gloomy night of sorrow — 
Cheerless night that knows no mor- 
row ! 

n. 

' O'er the Past too fondly wandering, 
On the hopeless Future pondering, 
Chilly Grief my life-blood freezes, 
Fell Despair my fancy seizes. 
Life, thou soul of every blessing. 
Load to Misery most distressing. 
Gladly how would I resign thee, 
And to dark Oblivion join thee ! ' 



HOW LANG AND DREARY IS 
THE NIGHT. 

[" I met with some such words in a col- 
lection of songs somewhere, which I altered 
and enlarged." (R. B.)] 

C/wr2/s. 

For O, her lanely nights are lang, 
xAnd O. her dreams are eerie. 

And O. her widow'd heart is sair, 
That *s absent frae her dearie ! 



How lano^ and drearv is the nio^ht. 
When I am frae my dearie ! 

I restless lie frae e'en to morn, 
Tho' I were ne'er sae weary. 



n. 

When I think on the lightsome days 
I spent wi' thee, my dearie. 

And now what seas between us roar, 
How can I be but eerie? 



III. 

How slow ye move, ye heavy hours ! 

The joyless day how drearv' ! 
It was na sae ye glinted by. 

When I was wi' mv dearie ! 



Choriis . 

For O, her lanely nights are lang, 
And O, her dreams are eerie. 

And O. her widow'd heart is sair. 
That *s absent frae her dearie ! 



MUSING 



ON THE 
OCEAN. 



ROARING 



[" I composed these verses out of com- 
phment to a Mrs. M'Lachlan, whose hus- 
band is an officer in the East Indies." 
(R.B.)] 



Musing on the roaring ocean. 
Which divides my love and me, 

Wearying heav'n in warm devotion 
For his weal where'er he be : 



n. 

Hope and Fear's alternate billow 
Yielding late to Nature's law. 

Whispering spirits round my pillow- 
Talk of him that *s far awa. 

III. 

Ye whom sorrow never wounded. 
Ye who never shed a tear. 

Care-untroubled, joy-surrounded, 
Gaudy day to you is dear ! 

IV. 

Gentle night, do thou befriend me I 
Downy'sleep. the curtain draw- ! 

Spirits kind, again attend me. 
Talk of him'that "s far awa ! 



BLYTHE W\AS SHE. 

[" I composed these verses while I stayed 
at Ochtertvre with Sir WilHam Murray. 
The lady was Miss Euphemia Murray of 
Lintrose', who was called, and very justly, 
' the flower of Strathmore." " (R. B.)] 



232 



TO DAUNTON ME. — O'ER THE WATER TO CHARLIE. 



Chorus, 

Blythe, blythe and merry was she, 
Blythe was she butt and ben, 

Blythe by the banks of Earn, 
And blythe in Glenturit glen ! 

• I. 

By Oughtertyre grows the aik, 

On Yarrow banks the birken shaw : 

But Phemie was a bonier lass 
Than braes o' Yarrow ever saw. 



II. 

Her looks were like a flowV in May, 
Her smile was like a simmer morn. 

She tripped by the banks o' Earn 
As light 's a bird upon a thorn. 

III. 

Her bonie face it was as meek 

As onie lamb upon a lea. 
The evening sun was ne^er sae sweet 

As was the blink o' Phemie's e'e. 

IV. 

The Highland hills I 've wander'd 
wide. 

As o'er the Lawlands I hae been. 
But Phemie was the blythest lass 

That ever trod the dewy green. 

Chorus, 

Blythe, blythe and merry was she, 
Blythe w^as she butt and ben, 

Blythe by the banks of Earn, 
And blythe in Glenturit Glen ! 



TO DAUNTON ME. 

[Variation from an old Jacobite song.] 

Chorus. 

To daunton me, to daunton me. 

An auld man shall never daunton me ! 



I. 



The blude-red rose at Yule may blaw, 
The simmer lilies bloom in snaw, 
The frost may freeze the deepest sea, 
But an auld man shall never daunton 



me. 



II. 



To daunton me, and me sae young, 
Wi' his fause heart and flatfring 



tongue : 



That is the thing you ne'er shall see, 
For an auld man shall never daunton 



me. 



III. 



For a' his meal and a' his maut. 
For a' his fresh beef and his saut. 
For a' his gold and white monie, 
An auld man shall never daunton me. 



IV. 

His gear may buy him kye and yowes. 
His gear may buy him glens and 

knowes ; 
But me he shall not buy nor fee, 
For an auld man shall never daunton 

me. 

V. 

He hirples twa-fauld as he dow, 

Wi' his teethless gab and his auld 

beld pow. 
And the rain rains down frae his red 

blear'd e'e — 
That auld man shall never daunton 



me 



Chorus. 



To daunton me, to daunton me. 

An auld man shall never daunton me ! 



O'ER THE WATER TO 
CHARLIE. 

[The "verses," Stenhouse says, "were 
revised and improved by Burns." They 
appear in Hogg's " Jacobite Reliques."] 

Chorus. 
We '11 o'er the water, we 11 o'er the 
sea. 



A ROSE-BUD. — AND I'LL KISS THEE YET. 



233 



We *11 o'er the water to Charlie I 
Come weal, come woe, we '11 gather 
and go. 
And live and die wi' Charlie ! 



Come boat me o'er, come row me 
o'er, 

Come boat me o'er to Charlie ! 
I *11 gie John Ross another bawbee 

To boat me o'er to Charlie. 



II. 

I lo'e weel my Charlie's name, 
Tho^ some there be abhor him : 

But O, to see Auld Nick gaun hame, 
And Charlie's faes before him I 

III. 

I swear and vow by moon and stars 
And sun that shines so early, 

If I had twenty thousand lives, 
I 'd die as aft for Charlie ! 

Oionis. 

We '11 o'er the water, we *11 o'er the sea. 

We "II o'er the water to Charlie ! 
Come weal, come woe, we '11 gather and 

go. 
And live and die wi' Charlie ! 



A ROSE-BUD, BY MY EARLY 

WALK. 

[" This song I composed on Miss Jenny 
Cruickshank, the only child of my worthy 
friend, Mr. William Cruickshank, of the 
High School, Edinburgh." (R. B.)] 

I. 

A ROSE-BUD. by my early walk 
Adown a corn-inclosed bawk, 
Sae gently bent its thorny stalk. 

All on a dewy morning. 
Ere twice the shades o' dawn are fled, 
In a' its crimson glory spread 
And drooping rich the dewy head, 

It scents the early morning. 



II. 

Within the bush her covert nest 

A little linnet fondly prest. 

The dew sat chilly on her breast, 

Sae early in the morning. 
She soon shall see her tender brood, 
The pride, the pleasure o' the wood, 
Amang the fresh green leaves bedew'd, 

Awake the early morning. 

III. 

So thou, dear bird, young Jeany fair. 
On trembling string or vocal air 
Shall sweetly pay the tender care 

That tents thy early morning I 
So thou, sweet rose-bud, young and 

gay, 

Shalt l)eauteous blaze upon the day. 
And bless the parent's evening ray 
That watch'd thy early morning ! 



AND I'LL KISS THEE YET. 

[" Spoken of by Burns as ' Juvenile.' Mr. 
Scott Douglas plausibly conjectures that 
Pegg}-, in this piece, is really Ellison, or Ali- 
son, Begbie. Some suppose the heroine to 
have been Mary Campbell. The first verse 
is not in Johnson's copy (' Museum,' ii. 1788) , 
and was first given by Cromek."] 

Chorus. 

And I '11 kiss thee yet. yet. 
And 1 *11 kiss thee o'er again, 

And I '11 kiss thee yet, yet, 
My bonie Peggy Alison. 

I. 

Ilk care and fear, when thou art near, 

I evermair defy them, O I 
Young kings upon their hansel throne 

Are no sae blest as I am, O ! 



II. 

When in my arms, wi' a' thy charms, 
I clasp my countless treasure. O,* 

I seek nae mair o^ Heav'n to share 
Than sic a moment's pleasure, O ! 



234 RATTLIN, ROARIN WILLIE. — O TIBBIE, I HAE SEEN THE DAY. 



Ill 

And by thy een sae bonie blue 
I swear I 'm thine for ever, O ! 

And on thy Hps I seal my vow, 
And break it shall I never, O I 

Chorus. 

And I Ul kiss thee yet, yet, 
And I Ul kiss thee o'er again, 

And I '11 kiss thee yet, yet, 
My bonie Peggy Alison. 



RATTLIN, ROARIN WILLIE. 

["The last stanza of this song is mine; 
it was composed out of compliment to one 
of the worthiest fellows in the world, William 
Dunbar, Esq., Writer to the Signet. Edin- 
burgh." (R. B.)] 

I. 

O, RATTLIN, roarin Willie, 

O, he held to the fair. 
An' for to sell his fiddle 

And buy some other ware ; 
But parting wi' his fiddle. 

The saut tear blin't his e'e — 
And, rattlin, roarin Willie, 

Ye>e welcome hame to me ! 



II. 

* O Willie, come sell your fiddle, 

O, sell your fiddle sae fine ! 
O Willie, come sell your fiddle 

And buy a pint o' wine ! ' 
^ If I should sell my fiddle. 

The warld would think I was mad ; 
For monie a rantin day 

My fiddle and I hae'had.' 



III. 

As I cam by Crochallan, 

I cannily keekit ben, 
Rattlin, roarin Willie 

Was sitting at yon boord-en' : 



Sitting at yon boord-en'. 
And amang guid companie ! 

Rattlin, roarin Willie, 

Ye Ve welcome hame to me. 



WHERE, BRAVING ANGRY 
WINTER'S STORMS. 

[The heroine was Margaret, daughter of 
John Chalmers of Fingland, and a cousin ot 
Charlotte Hamilton, her particular friend.] 



Where, braving angry winter's 
storms. 

The lofty Ochils rise. 
Far in their shade my Peggy's charms 

First blest my wondering eyes : 
As one who by some savage stream 

A lonely gem surveys. 
Astonished doubly, marks it beam 

With art's most polish'd blaze. 

II. 

Blest be the wild, sequestered glade. 

And blest the day and hour. 
Where Peggy's charms I first surveyed. 

When first I felt their powY ! 
The tyrant Death with grim control 

May seize my fleeting breath. 
But tearing Peggy from my soul 

Must be a strono^er death. 



O TIBBIE, I HAE SEEN THE 
DAY. 

[Mrs. Begg states that the heroine was 
one Isabella Steenson, or Stevenson, the 
farmer's daughter of Little Hill, which 
marched with Lochlie.J 

Chorus. 

O Tibbie, I hae seen the day. 
Ye wadna been sae shy ! 

For laik o' gear ye lightly me, 
But, trowth, I care na by. 



CLARINDA, MISTRESS OF MY SOUL. ~ THE WINTER IT IS PAST. 235 



Yestreen I met you on the moor, 
Ye spak na, but gaed by like stoure ! 
Ye geek at me because Pm poor — 
But tient a hair care I ! 

II. 

When comin hame on Sunday last, 
Upon the road as I cam past, 
Ye snufft an' gae your head a cast — 
But, trowth, I care 't na by ! 

III. 

I doubt na, lass, but ye may think, 
Because ye hae the name o' clink, 
That ye can please me at a wink. 
Whene'er ye like to try. 

IV. 

But sorrow tak him that 's sae mean, 
Altho' his pouch o' coin were clean, 
Wha follows onie saucy quean. 
That looks sae proud and high ! 

V. 

Altho' a lad were e'er sae smart. 
If that he want the yellow dirt. 
Ye *11 cast your head anither airt, 
And answer him fu' dry. 

VI. 

But if he hae the name o' gear. 
Ye '11 fasten to him like a brier, 
Tho' hardly he for sense or lear 
Be better than the kye. 

VII. 

But, Tibbie, lass, tak my advice : 
Your daddie's gear maks you sae nice. 
The Deil a ane wad spier your price, 
Were ye as poor as I. 

VIII. 

There Hves a lass beside yon park, 
I 'd rather hae her in her sark 
Than you wi' a' your thousand mark. 
That gars you look sae high. 



Choms. 

O Tibbie, I hae seen the day. 
Ye wadna been sae shy ! 

For laik o' gear ye lightly me. 
But, trowth, I care na by. 



CLARINDA, MISTRESS OF MY 
SOUL. 

[This song was written when Burns was 
about to leave Edinburgh.] 



I. 

Clarinda, mistress of my soul. 
The measur'd time is run ! 

The wretch beneath the dreary pole 
So marks his latest sun. 



II. 

To what dark cave of frozen night 
Shall poor Sylvander hie, 

Depriv'd of thee, his life and light, 
The sun of all his joy ? 



III. 

We part — but, by these precious 
drops 

That fill thy lovely eyes. 
No other light shall guide my steps 

Till thy bright beams arise ! 



IV. 

She, the fair sun of all her sex. 
Has blest my glorious day ; 

And shall a glimmering planet fix 
My worship to its ray 1 



THE WINTER IT IS PAST. 

[The song itself is largely and generously 
adapted from a song called " The Curragh 



236 I LOVE MY LOVE IN SECRET. ~ SWEET TIBBIE DUNBAR, 



of Kildare." Only stanza IL is wholly 
Burns's.] 



The winter it is past, and the simmer 
comes at last, 
And the small birds sing on ev'ry 
tree: 
The hearts of these are glad, but mine 
is very sad, 
For my love is parted from me. 

II. 

The rose upon the brier by the waters 
running clear 
May have charms for the linnet or 
the bee : 
Their little loves are blest, and their 
little hearts at rest. 
But my lover is parted from me. 

III. 

My love is like the sun in the firma- 
ment does run — 
Forever is constant and true ; 
But his is like the moon, that wanders 
up and down. 
And every month it is new. 

IV. 

All you that are in love, and cannot 
it remove, 
I pity the pains you endure. 
For experience makes me know that 
your hearts are full of woe, 
A woe that no mortal can cure. 



I LOVE MY LOVE IN SECRET. 

[Stenhouse affirms that the old song was 
" slightly altered by Burns, because it was 
rather inadmissible, in its original state ; " 
but apparently he spoke by guesswork.] 

Chorus, 

My Sandy O, my Sandy O, 
My bonie, bonie Sandy O ! 



Tho' the love that I owe 
To thee I dare na show. 
Yet I love my love in secret, 
My Sandy O ! 



My Sandy gied to me a ring 
Was a' beset wi' diamonds fine ; 
But 1 gied him a far better thing, 
I gied my heart in pledge o' his ring. 



II. 

My Sandy brak a piece o' gowd. 
While down his cheeks the saut tears 

row'd ; 
He took a hauf, and gied it to me. 
And I '11 keep it till the hour I die. 

Chorus. 

My Sandy O, my Sandy O, 
My bonie, bonie Sandy O ! 
Tho' the love that I owe 
To thee I dare na show, 
Yet I love my love in secret, 
My Sandy O ! 



SWEET TIBBIE DUNBAR. 

[Written for Johnson's " Museum," by 
Burns.] 

I. 

O, WILT thou go wi' me, sweet Tibbie 

Dunbar? 
O, wilt thou go wi' me, sweet Tibbie 

Dunbar? 
Wilt thou ride on a horse, or be drawn 

in a car. 
Or walk by my side, O sweet Tibbie 

Dunbar? 



II. 

I care na thy daddie, his lands and 
his money ; 



HIGHLAND HARRY.— THE TAILOR FELL THRO* THE BED. 237 



I care na thy kin^ sae high and sae 

lordly ; 
But say that thou 'It hae me for better 

or waur, 
And come in thy coatie, sweet Tibbie 

Dunbar, 



HIGHLAND HARRY. 

['* The chorus I picked up from an old 
woman in Dunblane. The rest of the song 
is mine." (R. B.)] 

Chorus, 

O, for him back again ! 

O, for him back again ! 

I wad gie a' Knockhaspie's land 

For Highland Harry back again. 



My Harry was a gallant gay, 

Fu' stately strade he on the plain, 

But now he 's banish'd far away : 
I '11 never see him back again. 



II. 



When a' the lave gae to their bed, 
I wander dowie up the glen, 

I set me down, and greet my fill. 
And ay I wish him back again. 



III. 



O, were some villains hangit high, 
And ilka body had their ain, 

Then I might see the joyfu' sight, 
My Highland Harry back again ! 

Chorus. 

O, for him back again ! 

O, for him back again ! 

I wad gie a' Knockhaspie's land. 

For Highland Harry back again. 



THE TAILOR FELL THRO' 
THE BED. 

[" This air is the march of the Corpora- 
tion of Tailors. The second and fourth 
stanzas are mine." (R. B.)] 



I. 



The tailor fell thro' the bed, thimble 

an' a', 
The tailor fell thro' the bed, thimble 

an' a' ; 
The blankets were thin, and the 

sheets they were sma' — 
The tailor fell thro' the bed, thimble 

an' a' 



.^ a' I 



II. 



The sleepy bit lassie, she dreaded 

nae ill. 
The sleepy bit lassie, she dreaded 

nae ill ; 
The weather was cauld, and the lassie 

lay still : 
She thought that a tailor could do her 

nae ill ! 



III. 



Gie me the groat again, cannie young 

man ! 
Gie me the groat again, cannie young 



man 



The day it is short, and the night it 

is lang — 
The dearest siller that ever I wan ! 



IV. 

There's somebody weary wi' lying 

her lane. 
There 's somebody weary wi' lying 

her lane ! 
There 's some that are dowie, I trow 

wad be fain 
To see the bit tailor come skippin 

again. 



238 



AY WAUKIN, O. — LADDIE, LIE NEAR ME. 



AY WAUKIN, 0. 


11. 
Her een sae bright like stars by 


[An old ballad supposed to have been 


night. 


adapted by Burns.] 


Her skin is like the swan. 




Sae j imply lacM her genty waist 


Chorus, 


That sweetly ye might span. 


Ay waukin. 0, 




Waiikin still and weary : 


III. 


Sleep I can get nane 


Youth, Grace, and Love attendant 


For thinking on my dearie. 


move. 




And Pleasure leads the van : 


I. 


In a' their charms, and conquering 


Simmer 's a pleasant time : 


arms, 


Flowers of every colour. 


They wait on bonie Ann. 


The water rins owre the heugh, 




And 1 long for my true lover. 


IV. 




The captive bands may chain the 


II. 


hands, 


When I sleep I dream, 


But Love enslaves the man : 


When I wauk I *m eerie, 


Ye gallants braw, I rede you a', 


Sleep I can get nane 


Beware o' bonie Ann ! 


For think in on my dearie. 




III. 
Lanely night comes on, 


LADDIE, LIE NEAR ME. 


A' the lave are sleepin. 




I think on my bonie lad, 


[An old ballad, probably amended and 


And I bleer my een wi^ greetin. 


condensed by Burns.] 


Chorus: 


Chorus. 


Ay waukin, 0, 


Near me, near me, 


Waukin still and weary : 


Laddie, lie near me \ 


Sleep I can get nane 


Lang hae I lain my lane — 


For thinking on my dearie. 


Laddie, lie near me ! 


BEWARE 0^ BONIE ANN. 


I. 

Lang hae we parted been, 




Laddie, my dearie ; 
Now^ we are met again — 


[" I composed this song out of compli- 
ment to Miss Ann Masterton, the daughter 


of my friend Allan Masterton." (R. B.)] 


Laddie, lie near me ! 


I. 

Ye gallants bright, I rede you right. 


II. 

A^ that I hae endur'd, 


Beware o^ bonie Ann ! 


Laddie, my dearie. 


Her comely face sae fu' o' grace. 


Here in thy arms is cur'd — 


Your heart she will trepan. 


Laddie, He near me ! 



THE GARD'XER Wl' HIS PAIDLE. — THE DAY RETURNS. 239 



CJiorus. 

Near me. near me. 
Laddie, lie near me ! 
Lang hae I lain my lane — 
Laddie, lie near me ! 



THE GARD'XER WI* HIS 
PAIDLE. 

[" The title of the song is old; the rest is 
mine." (R. B.)] 

I. 

When rosy May comes in wi' flowers 
To deck her gay, green-spreading 

bowers. 
Then busy, busy are his hours. 

The gard'ner wi" his paidle. 

II. 

The crystal waters gently fa', 
The merry birds are lovers a', 
The scented breezes round him blaw — 
The gard'ner wi' his paidle. 

ni. 

When purple morning starts the hare 
To steal upon her early fare. 
Then thro' the dew he maun repair — 
The gard'ner wi* his paidle. 

IV. 

When Day. expiring in the west. 
The curtain draws o' Nature's rest. 
He flies to her arms he lo'es best. 
The gard'ner wi' his paidle. 



ON A BANK OF FLOWERS. 

[The original was written by Theobald. 
Variation by Bums.] 



Ox a bank of flowers in a summer 
day. 
For summer lio^htlv drest. 



The youthful, blooming Nelly lay 

With love and sleep opprest ; 
When Willie, wand'ring thro' the 

wood. 
Who for her favour oft had sued — 
He gaz'd. he wish'd, 
He fear'd, he blush'd. 
And trembled ^vhere he stood. 



II. 



Her 



like 



weapons 



closed eyes, 
sheath'd. 
Were seal'd in soft repose : 
Her lips, still as she fragrant breath'd, 

It richer dyed the rose ; 
The springing lilies, sweetly prest, 
Wild-wanton kiss'd her rival breast : 
He gaz'd, he wish'd. 
He fear'd, he blush'd, 
His bosom ill at rest. 



III. 



Her robes, light-waving in the breeze. 

Her tender limbs embrace : 
Her lovely form, her native ease. 

All harmony and grace. 
Tumultuous tides his pulses roll, 
A faltering, ardent kiss he stole : 
He gaz'd. he wish'd. 
He fear'd. he blush'd. 
And sigh'd his very soul. 

IV. 

As flies the partridge from the brake 

On fear-inspired wings. 
So Nelly starting, half-awake, 

Away affrighted springs. 
But Willie follow'd — as he should ; 
He overtook her in the wood ; 
He vow'd. he pray'd. 
He found the maid 
Forgiving all, and good. 



THE DAY RETURNS. 

[" I composed this song out of compli- 
ment to one of the happiest and worthiest 



240 MY LOVE, SHE'S BUT A LASSIE YET. — JAMIE, COME TRY ME. 



couples in the world, — Robert Riddell, 
Esq.,of Glenriddell, and his lady." (R. B.)] 

I. 

The day returns, my bosom burns. 

The blissful day we twa did meet ! 
Tho' winter wild in tempest toiPd, 
Ne'er summer sun was half sae 
sweet. 
Than a' the pride that loads the tide, 

And crosses o'er the sultry line, 
Than kingly robes, than crowns and 
globes, 
Heav'n gave me more — it made 
thee mine I 



II. 



While day and night can bring de- 
light, 

Or Nature aught of pleasure give, 
While joys above my mind can move, 

For thee, and thee alone, I live ! 
When that grim foe of Life below 

Comes in between to make us part, 
The iron hand that breaks our band. 

It breaks my bliss, it breaks my 
heart ! 



MY LOVE, SHE'S BUT A 
LASSIE YET. 

[" The title and the last half stanza of 
this song," says Stenhouse, "are old; the 
rest was composed by Burns."] 

Chorus. 

My love, she 's but a lassie yet, 
My love, she 's but a lassie yet ! 
We '11 let her stand a year or twa, 
She '11 no be half sae saucy yet ! 

I. 

I RUE the day I sought her, O ! 
I rue the day I sought her, O ! 
Wha gets her need na say he 's 

woo'd. 
But he may say he has bought 

her, O. 



II. 

Come draw a drap o' the best o 't 

yet, 
Come draw a drap o' the best o 't 

yet ! 
Gae seek for pleasure whare ye will. 
But here I never missed it yet. 



III. 

We 're a' dry wi' drinkin o 't. 
We 're a' dry wi' drinkin o 't ! 
The minister kiss't the fiddler's 

wife — 
He could na preach for thinkin 

o't! 

Chorics, 

My love, she 's but a lassie yet. 
My love, she 's but a lassie yet ! 
We '11 let her stand a year or twa, 
She '11 no be half sae saucy yet ! 



JAMIE, COME TRY ME. 

[The original was probably related to a 
blackletter, entitled " The New Scotch Jig, 
or the Bonny Cravat."] 

Chorus. 

Jamie, come try me, 
Jamie, come try me ! 
If thou would win my love, 
Jamie, come try me ! 



If thou should ask my love. 
Could I deny thee? 

If thou would win my love, 
Jamie, come try me ! 

II. 

If thou should kiss me, love, 
Wha could espy thee ? 

If thou wad be my love, 
Jamie, come try me ! 



THE oILVER TASSIE.— THE CAPTAIN'S LADY. 



241 



Chorus. 

Jamie, come try me, 
Jamie, come try me ! 
If thou would win my love, 
Jamie, come try me ! 



THE SILVER TASSIE. 

["This air is Oswald's; the first half 
fitanza is old; the rest is mine." (R. B.)] 



I. 

Go, fetch to me a pint o' wine 

And fill it in a silver tassie. 
That I may drink before I go 

A service to my bonie lassie ! 
The boat rocks at the pier o' Leith, 

Fu' loud the wind blaws frae the 
Ferry, 
The ship rides by the Berwick-Law, 

And I maun leave my bonie Mary. 

II. 

The tmmpets sound, the banners fly. 

The glittering spears are ranked 
ready, 
The shouts o' war are heard afar. 

The battle closes deep and bloody. 
It 's not the roar o' sea or shore 

Wad mak me langer wish to tarry, 
Nor shouts o' war that 's heard afar : 

It 's leaving thee, my bonie Mary ! 



THE LAZY MIST. 

[No. 232 in Johnson " Written for this 
work by Robert Burns," and signed " B."] 



I. 

The lazy mist hangs from the brow^ 

of the hill, 
Concealing the course of the dark 

winding rill. 
How languid the scenes, late so 



sprightly, appear, 



As Autumn to Winter resigns the 



pale year 



II. 



The forests are leafless, the meadows 

are brown, 
And all the gay foppery of summer is 

flown. 
Apart let me wander, apart let me 

muse, 
How quick Time is flying, how keen 

Fate pursues ! 

III. 

How long I have liv^d, but how much 
liv'd in vain ! 

How little of life's scanty span may 
remain ! 

What aspects old Time in his pro- 
gress has worn ! 

WJiat ties cruel Fate in my bosom 
has torn ! 

IV. 

How foolish, or worse, till our summit 

is gain'd ! 
And downward, how weakened, how 

darkened, how pain'd ! 
Life is not worth having with all it 

can give : 
For something beyond it poor man, 

sure, must live. 



THE CAPTAIN'S LADY. 

[An old ballad. Authorship doubtful.] 

Cho7'2is. 

O, mount and go, 

Mount and make you ready ! 
O, mount and go. 

And be the Captain's Lady ! 



When the drums do beat, 
And the cannons rattle, 

Thou shalt sit in state. 

And see thy love in battle : 



242 



OF A' THE AIRTS. — WHISTLE O'ER THE LAVE O 'T. 



II. 


Thou shalt dance, and I will sing. 


When the vanquish'd foe 


Carl, an the king come ! 


Sues for peace and quiet, 




To the shades we '11 go, 


I. 


And in love enjoy it. 


An somebodie were come again, 




Then somebodie maun cross the 


Chorus. 


main. 


0, mount and go 

Mount and make you ready ! 


And every man shall hae his ain, 


Carl,^an the King come ! 


0, mount and go. 




And be the Captain's Lady ! 


II. 




I trow we swapped for the worse : 
We gae the boot and better horse, 


- 


OF A^ THE AIRTS. 


And that we *11 tell them at the Cross, 
Carl, an the King come ! 


[" The air is by Marshall, the song I 




composed out of compliment to Mrs. Burns. 


III. 


X.B. It was during the honeymoon." 


Coggie, an the King come. 


(R. B.)] 


Coggie, an the King come, 


I. 


I '11 be fou, and thou 'se be toom, 


Of a' the airts the wind can blaw 


Coggie, an the King come ! 


I dearly like the west. 




For there the bonie lassie lives. 


Chorus. 


The lassie I lo'e best. 


Carl, an the King come, 


There wild woods grow, and rivers 


Carl, an the King come. 


row, 


Thou shalt dance, and I will sing, 
Carl, an the King come ! 


And monie a hill between. 


But day and night my fancy's flight 
Is ever wi' my Jean. 


/ 




II. 


WHISTLE O'ER THE LAVE O'T. 


I see her in the dewy flowers — 


[The repeat is borrowed from an old 


I see her sweet and fair. 


song.] 


I hear her in the tunefu' birds — 


I. 


I hear her charm the air. 


First when Maggie was my .care, 
Heav'n, I thought, was in her air ; 


There 's not a bonie flower that springs 


By fountain, shaw, or green, 


Now we 're married, spier nae mair, 
But — whistle o'er the lave ^t ! 


There 's not a bonie bird that sings, 


But minds me 0' my Jean. 


Meg was meek, and Meg was mild. 




Sweet and harmless as a child : 




Wiser men than me 's beguiled — 


CARL, AN THE KING COME. 


Whistle o'er the lave 't ! 


[A medley of Jacobite catchwords.] 


II. 


Chorus. 


How we live, my Meg and me, 


How we love, and how we gree. 


Carl, an the King come, 


I care na by how few may see — 


Carl, an the King come, 


Whistle o'er the lave *t ! 



O, WERE I. — THERE'S A YOUTH IN TIHS CITY. 



243 



Wha I wish were maggots' meat, 
Dished up in her windi\ig-sheet, 
I could write (but Meg wad see 't) 
Whistle o'er the lave o 't ! 



O, WERE I ON PARNASSUS 
HILL. 

[The substance of this song is in many 
old ballads, one of which Burns may have 
taken as his model.] 



O, WERE I on Parnassus hill, 
Or had o' Helicon my fill, 
That I might catch poetic skill 

To sing how dear I love thee ! 
But Nith maun be my Muses' well, 
My Muse maun be thy bonie seP, 
On Corsincon I '11 glowr and spell, 

And write how dear I love thee. 



II. 

Then come, sweet Muse, inspire my 

lay! 
For a' the lee-lang simmer's day 
I couldna sing, I could na say 

How much, how dear I love thee. 
I see thee dancing o'er the green, 
Thy waist sae jimp, thy limbs sae 

clean. 
Thy tempting lips, thy roguish een — 
By Heaven and Earth I love thee ! 



III. 

By night, by day, a-field, at hame. 
The thoughts o' thee my breast in- 
flame. 
And ay I muse and sing thy name — 

I only live to love thee. 
Tho' I were doom'd to wander on. 
Beyond the sea, beyond the sun. 
Till my last weary sand was run. 

Till then — and then — I'd love 
thee! 



THE CAPTIVE RIBBAND. 

[Burns's authorship of this song is in 
doubt.] 



Myra, the captive ribband 's mine ! 

'T was all my faithful love could 
gain, 
And would you ask me to resign 

The sole reward that crowns my 



pam t 



II. 



Go, bid the hero, who has run 

Thro' fields of death to gather 
fame — 
Go, bid him lay his laurels down, 
And all his well-earn'd praise dis- 
claim ! 

III. 

The ribband shall its freedom lose — 
Lose all the bliss it had with you ! — 

And share the fate I would impose 
On thee, wert thou my captive too. 

IV. 

It shall upon my bosom live. 
Or clasp me in a close embrace ; 

And at its fortune if you grieve, 
Retrieve its doom, and take its 
place. 



THERE'S A YOUTH IN THIS 
CITY. 

[This piece is strongly reminiscent of 
"The Mauchline Belles."] 

I. 

There's a youth in this city, it were 
a great pity 
That he from our lassies should 
wander awa' ; 
For he 's bonie and braw, weel-favor'd 
witha', 



244 MY HEART'S IN THE HIGHLANDS. — JOHN ANDERSON MY JO. 



An' his hair has a natural buckle 



II. 

His coat is the hue o' his bonnet sae 
blue, 
His fecket is white as the new- 
driven snaw, 
His hose they are blae, and his shoon 
like the slae, 
And his clear siller buckles, they 
dazzle us a'. 

III. 

For beauty and fortune the laddie 's 
been courtin : 
Weel -featured, weel-tocher*d, weel- 
mounted, an' braw. 
But chiefly the siller that gars him 
gang till her — 
The penny 's the jewel that beauti- 
fies a' ! 

IV. 

There's Meg wi' the mailen, that fain 
wad a haen him. 
And Susie, wha's daddie was laird 
of the Ha\ 
There's lang-tocher'd Nancy maist 
fetters his fancy ; 
But the laddie's dear sel he loes 
dearest of a'. 



MY HEART'S IN THE HIGH- 
LANDS. 

[" The first half stanza of this song is 
old; the rest is mine." (R. B.)] 

Chorics. 

My heart's in the Highlands, my 
heart is not here. 

My heart 's in the Highlands a-chas- 
ing the deer, 

A-chasing the wild deer and following 
the roe — 

My heart 's in the Highlands, wher- 
ever I go! 



I. 

Farewell to- the Highlands, farewell 

to the North, 
The birthplace of valour, the country 

of worth ! 
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, 
The hills of the Highlands for ever 1 



love. 



11. 



Farewell to the mountains high 
covered with snow. 

Farewell to the straths and green 
valleys below. 

Farewell to the forests and wild-hang- 
ing woods. 

Farewell to the torrents and loud- 
pouring floods ! 

Chorus. 

My heart's in the Highlands, my 
heart is not here, 

My heart 's in the Highlands a-chas- 
ing the deer, 

A-chasing the wild deer and following 
the roe — 

My heart's in the Highlands, wher- 
ever I go! 



JOHN ANDERSON MY JO. 

[The song traces back to one composed 
about 1560. Improved by Burns.] ^ 

I. 

John Anderson my jo, John, 

When we were first acquent. 
Your locks were like the raven, 

Your bonie brow was brent ; 
But now your brow is beld, John, 

Your locks are like the snaw. 
But blessings on your frosty pow, 

John Anderson my jo ! 

XL 

John Anderson my jo, John, 
We clamb the hill thegither, 



AWA', WHIGS, AWA'. — CA' THE YOWES TO THE KNOWES. 245 



And monie a cantie day, John, 
We 've had wi' ane anither ; 

Now we maun totter down. John, 
And hand in hand we '11 go, 

And sleep thegither at the toot, 
John Anderson my jo ! 



AWA; WHIGS, AWA\ 

[An old Jacobite song, improved by 
Burns.] 

Chorus. 

Awa\ Whigs, awa^ ! 

Awa', Whigs, awa' ! 
Ye 're but a pack o' traitor louns, 

Ye 11 do nae sruid at a\ 



Our thrissles flourish "d fresh and 
fair. 

And bonie bloom'd our roses ; 
But Whigs cam like a frost in June, 

An' withered a' our posies. 

II. 

Our ancient crown's fa'n in the 

dust — 
Deil blin* them wi' the stoure o *t, 
An' wTite their names in his black 

beuk, 
Wha gae the Whigs the power o "t ! 

III. 

Our sad decay in church and state 

Surpasses my descriving. 
The Whigs cam o'er us for a curse, 

And we hae done wi' thriving. 



IV. 



Grim Vengeance lang has taen a 
nap, 
But w^e may see him waukin — 
Gude help the day when Royal 
heads 
Are hunted like a maukin ! 



CJiorus. 

Awa'. Whigs, awa' ! 

Awa*, Whigs, awa'! 
Ye 're but a pack o' traitor louns, 

Ye '11 do nae cfuid at a\ 



CA' THE YOWES TO THE 
KNOWES. 

["This beautiful song is in the true old 
Scotch taste, yet I do not know that either 
the air or words were in print before." 
(R. B.j] 

Chorus. 

Ca" the yowes to the knowes, 
Ca' them where the heather grows, 
Ca' them where the burnie rowes, 
My bonie dearie! 



As I gaed down the water-side. 
There I met my shepherd lad : 
He row'd me sweetly in his plaid. 
And he ca'd me his dearie. 



n. 

* Will ye gang down the water-side. 

And see the waves sae sweetly glide 

Beneath the hazels spreading wide? 

The moon it shines fu' clearly.' 



III. 

' I was bred up in nae sic school. 
My shepherd lad, to play the fool. 
An' a' the day to sit in dool. 
An' naebodv to see me.' 



IV. 

' Ye sail get gowns and ribbons meet, 
Cauf-leather shoon upon your feet. 
And in my arms thou *lt lie and sleep. 
An' ye sail be my dearie.' 



246 



O, MERRY HAE I BEEN. — THE WHITE COCKADE. 



V. 



* If ye '11 but stand to what ye Ve said, 
I 'se gang wi' you, my shepherd lad. 
And ye may row me in your plaid, 
And I sail be your dearie.' 

VI. 

' While waters wimple to the sea, 
While day blinks in the lift sae hie, 
Till clay-cauld death sail blin' my e'e, 
Ye sail be my dearie."' 

Ca' the yo^yes to the knowes, 
Ca' them where the heather grows, 
Ca' them where the burnie rowes. 
My bonie dearie! 



O, MERRY HAE I BEEN. 

[" The tune was called ' The Bob o' Dum- 
blane,' and a song with this title appears in 
Ramsay's ' Tea-Table Miscellany' (1727)." 
(R. B.)] 



O, MERRY hae I been teethin a heckle, 
An' merry hae I been shapin a 
spoon ! 
O, merry hae I been cloutin a kettle, 
An' kissin my Katie when a' was 
done! 
O, a' the lang day 1 ca' at my hammer. 
An' a' the lang day I whistle an' sing! 
O, a' the lang night I cuddle my kim- 
mer, 
An' a' the lang night as happy 's a 



king ! 



II. 



Bitter in dool, I lickit my winnins 

O' marrying Bess, to gie her a slave. 
Blest be the hour she cool'd in her 
linens, 
And blythe be the bird that sings 
on her grave! 



Come to my arms, my Katie, my Katie, 
An' come to my arms, and kiss me 
again ! 

Drucken or sober, here 's to thee, Katie, 
And blest be the day I did it again! 



A MOTHER'S LAMENT. 

[" The words were composed to com- 
memorate the much lamented and prema- 
ture death of James Ferguson, Esq., Junior 
of Craigdarroch." (R. B.)] 



Fate gave the word — the arrow sped, 

And pierc'd my darling's heart. 
And with him all the joys are fled 

Life can to me impart. 
By cruel hands the sapling drops. 

In dust dishonored laid : 
So fell the pride of all my hopes, 

My age's future shade. 

II. 

The mother linnet in the brake 

Bewails her ravish'd young : 
So I for my lost darling's sake 

Lament the live-day long. 
Death, oft I 've fear'd thy fatal blow ! 

Now fond I bare my breast ! 
O, do thou kindly lay me low, 

With him I love at rest ! 



THE WHITE COCKADE. 

[Adapted from " The Ranting Roving 
Lad " in Herd.] 

C/iorus. 

O, he 's a ranting, roving lad ! 
He is a brisk an' a bonie lad ! 
Betide what may, I will be wed. 
And follow the boy with the White 
Cockade ! 

I. 

My love was born in Aberdeen, 
The boniest lad that e'er was seen ; 



THE BRAES O' BALLOCHMYLE. — THOU LINGERING STAR. 247 



But now he makes our hearts fu' sad — 
He takes the field wP his White Cock- 
ade. 

II. 

I '11 sell my rock, my reel, my tow, 
My guid gray mare and hawkit cow, 
To buy mysel a tartan plaid, 
To follow the boy wi' the White Cock- 
ade. 

Chorus, 

O, he 's a ranting, roving lad ! 
He is a brisk an^ a bonie lad ! 
Betide what may, I will be wed, 
And follow the boy wi' the White 
Cockade ! 



THE BRAES O' BALLOCH- 
MYLE. 

[" I composed the verses on the amiable 
and excellent family of Whitefoord's leav- 
ing Ballochmyle, when Sir John's misfor- 
tunes had obliged him to sell the estate." 
(R. B.)] 



The Catrine woods were yellow seen. 

The flowers decay'd on Catrine 
lea; 
Nae lavVock sang on hillock green, 

But nature sickenM on the e'e ; 
Thro' faded groves Maria sang, 

Hersel in beauty's bloom the while. 
And aye the wild-wood echoes rang : 

' Fareweel the braes o' Ballochmyle ! 

II. 

Low in your wintry beds, ye flowers, 

Again ye '11 flourish fresh and fair ; 
Ye birdies, dumb in with'ring bowers. 

Again ye '11 charm the vocal air ; 

But here, alas ! for me nae mair 
Shall birdie charm, or floweret smile : 

Fareweel the bonie banks of Ayr! 
Fareweel ! fareweel, sweet Balloch- 
myle ! ' 



THE RANTIN DOG, THE 
DADDIE O'T. 

[" I composed this song pretty early in 
life, and sent it to a young girl, a very par- 
ticular acquaintance of mine, who was at 
the time under a cloud." (R. B.)] 



O, WHA my babie-clouts will buy ? 
O, wha will tent me when I cry ? 
Wha will kiss me where I lie ? — 
The rantin dog, the daddie o 't ! 

II. 

O, wha will own he did the faut? 
O, wha will buy the groanin maut ? 
O, wha will tell me how to ca 't? — 
The rantin dog, the daddie o't! 

III. 

When I mount the creepie-chair, 
Wha will sit beside me there ? 
Gie me Rob, I'll seek nae mair — 
The rantin dog, the daddie o 't ! 

IV. 

Wha will crack to me my lane? 
Wha will mak me fidgin fain ? 
Wha will kiss me o'er again ? — 
The rantin dog, the daddie o 't ! 



THOU LINGERING STAR. 

[Enclosing this very famous lament in 
a letter to Mrs. Dunlop, November 8, 1789, 
Burns described it as " made the other 
day." He also asked her opinion of it, as 
he was too much interested in the subject 
to be "a critic in the composition."] 



Thou lingering star with less'ning 
ray. 

That lov'st to greet the early morn, 
Again thou usher'st in the day 

My Mary from my soul was torn. 



248 



EPPIE ADAIR. — THE BATTLE OF SHERRAMUIR. 



O Mary, dear departed shade ! 

Where is thy place of blissful rest ? 
See'st thou thy lover lowly laid? 

Hear'st thou the groans that rend 
his breast? 



II. 



That sacred hour can I forget, 

Can I forget the hallow'd grove, 
Where, by the winding Ayr, we met 

To live one day of parting love ? 
Eternity cannot efface 

Those records dear of transports 
past, 
Thy image at our last embrace — 

Ah ! little thought we 't was our 
last! 



III. 

Ayr, gurgling, kiss'd his pebbled 
shore, 
O'erhung with wild woods thicken- 
ing green ; 
The fragrant birch and hawthorn 
hoar 
'Twin'd amorous round the raptured 
scene ; 
The flowers sprang wanton to be 
prest, 
The birds sang love on every 
spray. 
Till too, too soon, the glowing west 
Proclaimed the speed of winged 
day. 

IV. 

Still o^er these scenes my memVy 
wakes, 
And fondly broods with miser-care. 
Time but th' impression stronger 
makes. 
As streams their channels deeper 
wear. 
O Mary, dear departed shade ! 

Where is thy place of blissful rest ? 
See'st thou thy lover lowly laid ? 
Hear'st thou the groans that rend 
his breast? 



EPPIE ADAIR. 

[No. 281 in Johnson, unsigned. 
Ms. is in the Hastie Collection.] 

Choriis. 

An' O my Eppie, 
My jewel, my Eppie! 
Wha wadna be happy 
Wi' Eppie Adair? 



By love and by beauty. 
By law and by duty, 
I swear to be true to 
My Eppie Adair! 

II. 

A' pleasure exile me, 
Dishonour defile me, 
If e'er I beguile thee. 
My Eppie Adair ! 

Chorus. 

An' O my Eppie, 
My jewel, my Eppie ! 
Wha wadna be happy 
Wi' Eppie Adair? 



The 



THE BATTLE OF SHERRA- 
MUIR. 

[This song is condensed from a ballad 
by the Rev. John Barclay.] 

I. 

^ O, CAM ye here the fight to shun, 
Or herd the sheep wi' me, man? 
Or were ye at the Sherra-moor, 
Or did the battle see, man? ' 
'- 1 saw the battle, sair and teugh, 
And reekin-red ran monie a sheugh ; 
My heart for fear gae sough for sough, 
To hear the thuds, and see the cluds 
O' clans frae woods in tartan duds, 
Wha glaum'd at kingdoms three, 
man. 



YOUNG JOCKIE WAS THE BLYTHEST LAD. 



249 



II. 

* The red-coat lads wi' black cockauds 
To meet them were na slaw, man : 
They rush'd and push'd and bluid 
outgush'd. 
And monie a bouk did fa', man! 
The great Argyle led on his files, 
I wat they glanc'd for twenty miles : 
They hoLigh"d the clans like nine-pin 

kyles. 
They liack'd and hashM, while braid- 
swords clash'd. 
And thro' they dash'd, and hew'd and 
smashed, 
Till fey men died awa, man. 

ni. 

' But had ye seen the philibegs 

And skyrin tartan trews, man. 
When in the teeth they daur'd our 
whigs 
And Covenant tmeblues. man ! 
In lines extended lang and large. 
When baig'nets o'erpower'd the targe, 
And thousands hastened to the charge, 
Wi' Highland wrath they frae the 

sheath 
Drew blades o^ death, till out o* breath 
They fled like frighted dows, man ! ' 

IV. 

' O, how^ Deil ! Tam, can that be true ? 

The chase gaed frae the north, man ! 
I saw^ mysel. they did pursue 

The horseman back to Forth, man ; 
And at Dunblane, in my ain sight. 
They took the brig wi' a* their might. 
And straught to Stirling winged their 

flight ; 
But, cursed lot ! the gates were shut. 
And monie a huntit poor red-coat. 

For fear amaist did swarf, man ! ' 

V. 

' My sister Kate cam up the gate 
Wi' crowdie unto me, man : 

She swoor she saw some rebels run 
To Perth and to Dundee, man ! 



Their left-hand general had nae skill ; 
The Angus lads had nae good will 
That day their neebors' bluid to spill : 
For fear by foes that they should lose 
Their cogs o' brose, they scard at 
blows. 
And hameward fast did flee, man. 

VI. 

' They Ve lost some gallant gentlemen, 

Amang the Highland clans, man ! 
I fear my Lord Panmure is slain, 
Or in his en'mies' hands, man. 
Now wad ye sing this double flight. 
Some fell for wrang, and some for 

right. 
But monie bade the world guid-night : 
Say, pell and mell. wi* muskets' knell 
How Tories fell, and Whigs to Hell 
Flew oflf in frighted bands, man ! ' 



YOUNG JOCKIE WAS THE 
BLYTHEST LAD. 

[Stenhoiise remarks that the whole song, 
"excepting three or four lines, is the pro- 
duction of Burns."] 



Young Jockie w^as the blythest lad. 
In a' our town or here awa : 

Fu' blythe he whistled at the gaud, 
Fu' lightly danc'd he in the ha\ 

II. 

He roos'd my een sae bonie blue, 
He roos'd my waist sae genty sma' ; 

An' ay my heart cam to my mou', 
When ne'er a body heard or saw. 

III. 

My Jockie toils upon the plain 

Thro' wind and weet, thro' frost 
and snaw ; 
And o'er the lea I leuk fu' fain. 

When Jockie's owsen hameward 
ca'. 



250 



A WAUKRIFE MINNIE. — THO' WOMEN'S MINDS. 



IV. 



An' ay the night comes round again. 
When in his arms he taks me a', 

An' ay he vows he '11 be my ain 
As lans *s he has a breath to draw. 



A WAUKRIFE MINNIE. 

[" I picked up the old song and tune 
from a country girl in Nithsdale. I never 
met with it elsewhere in Scotland." (R. B.)] 



I. 



my bonie 



'Whare are you gai 
lass? 

Whare are you gaun, my hinnie?' 
She answered me right saucilie : — 

' An errand for my minnie ! ' 

II. 

' O, whare live ye, my bonie lass ? 

O, whare live ye, my hinnie ? ' 
' By yon burnside, gin ye maun ken, 

In a wee house wi' my minnie !' 



III. 

But I foor up the glen at e'en 

To see my bonie lassie, 
And lang before the grey morn cam 

She was na hauf sae saucy. 



IV. 

O, weary fa' the waukrife cock. 
And the foumart lay his crawin ! 

He wauken'd the auld wife frae her 
sleep 
A wee blink or the da win. 



An angry wife I wat she raise, 

And o'er the bed she brought her. 

And wi' a meikle hazel-rung 

She made her a weel-pay'd dochter. 



VI. 

' O, fare-thee-weel, my bonie lass ! 

O, fare-thee-weel, my hinnie ! 
Thou art a gay and a bonie lass, 

But thou has a waukrife minnie !' 



THO' WOMEN'S MINDS. 

[" This song is mine, all except the 
chorus." (R. B.)] 

C/lO?'7/S. 

For a' that, an' a' that, 

And twice as meikle 's a' that, 
The bonie lass that I loe best, 

She 'U be my ain for a' that ! 



I. 

Tho' women's minds like winter 
winds 
May shift, and turn, an' a' that. 
The noblest breast adores them 
maist — 
A consequence, I draw that. 



II. 

Great love I bear to a' the fair, 
Their humble slave, an' a' that ; 

But lordly will, I hold it still 
A mortal sin to thraw that. 



III. 

In rapture sweet this hour we meet, 
Wi' mutual love an' a' that. 

But for how lang the file may stang, 
Let inclination law that ! 



an 



IV. 

craft 



hae put me 



Their tricks 
daft, 

They've taen me in an' a' that. 
But clear vour decks, and here 's : 
'The Sex I' 
I like the jads for a' that ! 



WILLIE BREW'D A PECK O' MAUT. — KILLIECRANKIE. 251 



Chorus. 

For a' that, an' a' that, 

And twice as meikle 's a' that. 
The bonie lass that I loe best. 

She '11 be my ain for a' that ! 



WILLIE BREWED A PECK O' 
MAUT. 

[" The air is Masterton's ; the song mine." 
(R. B.)J 

Chorus. 

We are na fou, we 're nae that fou, 

But just a drappie in our e'e ! 
The cock may craw, the day may 
daw, 
And ay we ^11 *taste the barley- 
bree ! 



O, Willie brewed a peck o' maut, 
And Rob and Allan cam to see. 

Three blyther hearts that lee-lang 
night 
Ye wad na found in Christendie. 

II. 

Here are we met three merry boys. 
Three merry boys I trow are w^e ; 

And monie a night w^e Ve merry 
been. 
And monie mae wt hope to be ! 

III. 

It is the moon, I ken her horn, 

That 's blinkin in the lift sae hie : 
She shines sae bright to wyle us 

hame, 
- But, by my sooth, shell wait a 

wee 1 

IV. 

Wha first shall rise to grano^ awa. 

A cuckold, coward loun is he ! 
Wha first beside his chair shall fa'. 

He is the King amang us three ! 



Chorus. 

We are na fou, we 're nae that fou, 
But just a drappie in our e'e ! 

The cock may craw, the day may daw. 
And ay we '11 taste the barley-bree ! 



KILLIECRANKIE. 

^ [" The battle of Killiecrankie was the last 
stand made by the clans for James after his 
abdication. Here the gallant Lord Dun- 
dee fell in the moment of victory." (R. B.) 
The battle was fought on July 17, 1689.] 



Chorus. 

An ye had been whare I hae been. 
Ye wad na been sae cantie, O ! 

An ye had seen what I hae seen 
On the braes 0' Killiecrankie, O ! 



I. 

' Whare hae ye been sae braw, lad ? 

Whare hae ye been sae brankie, O ? 
Whare hae ye been sae braw, lad? 

Cam ye by Killiecrankie, O ? ' 



II. 

' I faught at land, I faugh t at sea, 
At hame I faught my auntie, O ; 

But I met the Devil and Dundee 
On the braes o' Killiecrankie, O 



III. 

' The bauld Pitcur fell in a furr, 
An' Clavers gat a clankie, O, 

Or I had fed an Athole gled 

On the braes o' Killiecrankie, O ! ' 

Chorus. 

An ye had been whare I hae been, 
Ye wad na been sae cantie, O ! 

An ye had seen what I hae seen 
On the braes o' Killiecrankie, O ! 



252 



THE BLUE-EYED LASSIE. — TAM GLEN. 



THE BLUE-EYED LASSIE. 

[Burns enclosed this song in a letter to 
Mrs. Dunlop, Oct. 2, 1788, writing: "How 
do you like the following song, designed 
for and composed by a friend of mine, and 
which he has christened ' The Blue-Eyed 
Lassie '? "] 

I. 

I GAED a waefu' gate yestreen, 

A gate I feai' I '11 dearly rue : 
I gat my death frae twa sweet een, 

Twa lovely een o' bonie blue! ^ 
'T was not her golden ringlets bright, 

Her lips like roses wat wi' dew, 
Her heaving bosom lily-white : 

It was her een sae bonie blue. 

II. 

She talked, she smird, my heart she 
wvFd, 
She' charm'd my soul I wist na 
how; 
And ay the stound, the deadly wound, 

Cam frae her een sae bonie blue. 
But ^ spare to speak, and spare to 
speed ' — 
She '11 aibhns listen to my vow : 
Should she refuse, I *11 lay my dead 
To her twa een sae bonie blue. 



THE BANKS OF NITH. 

[Written for Johnson's "Museum" by 
Burns. An early draft was sent to Mrs. 
Dunlop.] 

I. 

The Thames flows proudly to the sea. 

Where royal cities stately stand ; 
But sweeter flows the Nith to me, ^ 

Where Cummins ance had high 
command. 

When shall I see that honored land, 
That winding stream I love so dear? 

Must wayward Fortune's adverse 
hand 
For ever — ever keep me here ? 



II. 

How lovely. Nith, thy fruitful vales. 
Where bounding hawthorns gaily 
bloom, 
And sweetly spread thy sloping dales. 
Where lambkins wanton thro' the 

broom ! 
Tho' wandering now must be my 
doom 
Far from thy bonie banks and braes. 
May there my latest hours consume 
Amang my friends of early days ! 



TAM GLEN. 

[Written for Johnson's " Museum " by 
Burns.] 



My heart is a-breaking, dear tittie. 
Some counsel unto me come len\ 

To anger them a' is a pity, 

But what will I do wi' Tarn Glen? 

II. 

I 'm thinking, wi' sic a braw fellow 
In poortith I might mak a fen\ 

What care I in riches to wallow, 
If I mauna marry Tarn Glen? 

III. 

There 's Lowrie the laird o' Dumeller : 
' Guid day to you,' brute ! he comes 
ben. 
He brags and he blaws o' his siller. 
But w^hen w^ill he dance like Tam 
Glen? 

IV. 

My minnie does constantly deave me, 
And bids me beware o' young men. 

They flatter, she says, to de'ceive me — 
But wha can think sae o' Tam Glen ? 



My daddie says, gin I '11 forsake him, 
He 'd gie me guid hunder marks ten. 



CRAIGIEBURN WOOD.— FRAE THE FRIENDS Ai^D LAND I LOVE. 253 



But if it^s ordain'd I maun take him, 
O, wha will I get but Tarn Glen ? 

VI. 

Yestreen at the valentines' dealing, 
My heart to ni}- mou gied a sten, 

For thrice I drew ane without failing, 
And thrice it was written ' Tarn 
GlenM 

VII. 

The last Halloween I was w^aukin 
My droukit sark-sleeve, as ye ken — 

His likeness came up the house staukin, 
And the very grey breeks o' Tam 
Glen! 

VIII. 

Come, counsel, dear tittie, don't tarry ! 

I '11 gie ye my bonie black hen, 
Gif ye will advise me to marry 

The lad I lo'e dearly, Tam Glen. 



CRAIGIEBURN WOOD. 

[" This song was composed on a passion 
which a Mr. Gillespie, a particular friend of 
mine, had for a Miss Lorimer, afterwards a 
Mrs. Whelpdale." (R. B.)] 

C/iorus. 

Beyond thee, dearie, beyond thee, 
dearie, 
And O, to be lying beyond thee! 
O, sweetly, soundly, weel may he 
sleep 
That's laid in the bed beyond 
thee ! 



Sweet closes the ev'ning on Craigie- 
burn Wood 
And blythely awaukens the morrow ; 
But the pride o' the spring on the 
Craigieburn Wood 
Can yield me naught but sorrow. 

II. 

I see the spreading leaves and flowers, 
I hear the wild birds singing ; 



But pleasure they hae nane for me. 
While care my heart is wringing. 



III. 



I can na tell, I maun na tell, 
I daur na for your anger ; 

But secret love will break my heart. 
If I conceal it langer. 



IV. 



I see thee gracefu', straight, and tall, 
I see thee sweet and bonie ; 

But O, what will my torment be, 
If thou refuse thy Johnie ! 



To see thee in another's arms 
In love to he and languish, 

'Twad be my dead, that will be seen — 
My heart wad burst wi' anguish ! 

VI. 

But, Jeanie, say thou wilt be mine, 
Say thou lo'es nane before me, 

And a' my days o' life to come 
1 11 gratefully adore thee. 

Beyond thee, dearie, beyond thee, 
dearie. 
And O, to be lying beyond thee! 
O, sweetly, soundly, weel may he 
sleep 
That's laid in the bed beyond 
thee ! 



FRAE THE FRIENDS AND 
LAND I LOVE. 

["I added the four last lines by way of 
giving a turn to the theme of the poem, 
such as it is." (R. B.)] 

I. 

Frae the friends and land I love 
Driv'n by Fortune's felly spite, 

Frae my best belov'd I rove. 
Never mair to taste delight ! 



254 O JOHN, COME KISS ME NOW. — MY TOCHER'S THE JEWEL. 



Never mair maun hope to find 
Ease frae toil, relief frae care. 

When remembrance wracks the mind, 
Pleasures but unveil despair. 

II. 

Brightest climes shall mirk appear, 

Desert ilka blooming shore, 
Till the Fates, nae mair severe, 

Friendship, love, and peace restore ; 
Till Revenge wi' laurelPd head 

Bring our banish'd hame again. 
And ilk loyal, bonie lad 

Cross the seas, and win his ain ! 



O JOHN, COME KISS ME NOW. 

[Altered and expanded from a fragment 
in Herd.] 

Chorus. 

O John, come kiss me now, now, 

now ! 
O John, my love, come kiss me 

now ! 
O John, come kiss me by and by, 
For weel ye ken the way to woo ! 

I. 

O, SOME will court and compliment. 
And ither some will kiss and daut ; 

But I will mak o^ my guidman. 
My ain guidman — it is nae faut ! 

II. 

O, some will court and compliment. 
And ither some will prie their mou'. 

And some will hause in ithers arms, 
And that 's the way I like to do ! 

Chortis. 

O John, come kiss me now, now, 

now ! 
O John, my love, come kiss me 

now ! 
O John, come kiss me by and by. 
For weel ye ken the way to woo ! 



COCK UP YOUR BEAVER. 

[Redacted from the older set in Herd.] 

I. 

When first my brave Johnie lad 

came to this town, 
He had a blue bonnet that wanted 

the crown. 
But now^ he has gotten a hat and a 

feather — 
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your 

beaver! 



II. 



Cock up your beaver, and cock it fi.i^ 

sprush ! 
We 'II over the border and gie them a 

brush : 
There 's somebody there we '11 teach 

better behaviour — 
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your 

beaver ! 



MY TOCHER'S THE JEWEL. 

[The last half of stanza ii., according to 
Cromek, was found in Burns's holograph 
as part of an old song.] 



O, MEIKLE thinks my luve o' my 
beauty. 
And meikle thinks my luve o' my 
kin ; 
But little thinks my luve I ken brawlie 
My tocher's the jewel has charms 
for him. 
It's a' for the apple he'll nourish the 

tree, 
It 's a' for the hiney he '11 cherish the 
bee ! 
My laddie 's sae meikle m luve wi' 
the siller. 
He canna hae luve to spare for me ! 



THERE'LL NEVER BE PEACE TILL JAMIE COMES HAME. 



II. 

Your proiTer o' luve 's an airle-penny. 
My tocher's the bargain ye wad 
buy ; 
But an ye be crafty, I am cunnin. 
Sae ye wi anither your fortune may 
try. 
Ye *re like to the timmer o* yon rotten 
wood. 
Ye *re hke to the bark o' yon rotten 
tree : 
Ye '11 slip frae me like a knotless 
thread. 
An' ye '11 crack your credit wi' 
mair nor me ! 



GUIDWIFE. COUNT THE 
LAWIN. 

[" The chorus of this is part of an old 
song." (R. B.)] 

Chorus. 

Then, guidwife, count the lawin, 
The lawin. the lawin ! 

Then, guidwife, count the lawin, 

And bring a coggie mair ! 



Gane is the day, and mirk's the 

night. 
But we '11 ne'er stray for faut o' light. 
For ale and brandy *s stars and moon. 
And blude-red wine 's the risin sun. 



II. 



There's wealth and ease for gentle- 
men. 
And semple folk maun fecht and fen' ; 
But here we *re a' in ae accord, 
For ilka man that 's drunk 's a lord. 



III. 

My coggie is a haly pool, 
That heals the wounds o' care and 
dool, 



And Pleasure is a wanton trout : 
An ye drink it a\ ye 11 find him out ! 

CJionis. 

Then, guidwife, count the lawin. 
The lawin, the lawin ! 

Then, guidwife. count the lawin. 

And bring a coggie mair! 



THERE'LL NEVER BE PEACE 
TILL JAMIE COMES HAME. 

[" This tune is sometimes called ' There 
are Few Gude Fellows when Willie 's Awa.' 
But I have never been able to meet with 
anvthing else of the song than the title." 
(R. B.)] 



By yon castle wa' at the close of the 

day, 
I heard a man sing, tho' his head it 

was grey. 
And as he was singing, the tears doon 

came : — 
^There'll never be peace till Jamie 

comes hame ! 



II. 

' The Church is in ruins, the State is 
in jars. 

Delusions, oppressions, and murder- 
ous wars. 

We dare na weel say *t. but we ken 
wha "s to blame — 

There *11 never be peace till Jamie 
comes hame ! 

ni. 

^ My seven braw sons for Jamie drew 

sword. 
But now I greet round their green 

beds in the yerd : 
It brak the sweet heart o' my faith fu' 

auld dame — 
There'll never be peace till Jamie 

comes hame ! 



256 



THE BONIE LAD THAT'S FAR AWA. 



IV. 

Now life is a burden that bows me 

down, 
Sin I tint my bairns, and he tint his 

crown ; 
But till my last moments my words 

are the same — 
There '11 never be peace till Jamie 

comes hame ! ' 



WHAT CAN A YOUNG LASSIE 

[A derivative, "The Old Man Killed 
with the Cough." This derivative Burns 
seems to have known, and to have borrowed 
its rhythmus, as well as its general tone and 
sentiment.] 

L 

What can a young lassie, 
What shall a young lassie, 
What can a young lassie 

Do \vi' an auld man? 
Bad luck on the penny 
That tempted my minnie 
To sell her puir Jenny 

For siller an' Ian' ! 



II. 

He 's always compleenin 
Frae mornin to eenin ; 
He hoasts and he hirples 

The weary day lang ; 
He 's doylt and he 's dozin ; 
His blude it is frozen — 
O, dreary 's the night 

Wi' a crazy auld man ! 

in. 

He hums and he hankers, 
He frets and he cankers, 
I never can please him 

Do a' that I can. 
He 's peevish an' jealous 
Of a' the young fellows — 
O, dool on the day 

I met wi' an auld man ! 



IV. 

My auld auntie Katie 
Upon me taks pity, 
I '11 do my endeavour 

To follow her plan : 
I '11 cross him an' wrack him 
Until I heartbreak him. 
And then his auld brass 

Will buy me a new pan. 



THE BONIE LAD THAT'S FAR 
AWA. 

[It is supposed to refer to old Armour's 
extrusion of his daughter in the winter of 
1788.] 

I. 

O, HOW can I be blythe and glad, 
Or how can 1 gang brisk and braw, 

When the bonie lad that I lo'e best 
Is o'er the hills and far awa ? 



II. 

It 's no the frosty winter wind. 

It 's no the driving drift and snaw ; 

But ay the tear comes in my e'e 
To think on him that 's far awa. 



III. 

My father pat me frae his door, 
My friends they hae disown'd me a' ; 

But I hae ane will tak my part — 
The bonie lad that 's far awa. 



IV. 

A pair o' glooves he bought to me 
And silken snoods he gae me twa, 

And I will wear them for his sake, 
The bonie lad that 's far awa. 



V, 

O, weary Winter soon will pass. 
And Spring will deed the birken 
shaw, 



I DO CONFESS.— YON WILD MOSSY MOUNTAINS. 



257 



And my sweet babie will be born, 
And he 11 be hame that 's far awa ! 



I DO CONFESS THOU ART 
SAE FAIR. 

["This song is altered from a poem by 
Sir Robert Ayton, private secretary to Mary 
and Anne, queens of Scotland." (R. B.)] 

r. 

I DO confess thou art sae fair, 

I wad been o'er the lugs in luve, 
Had I na found the slightest prayer 

That lips could speak thy heart 
could muve. 
I do confess thee sweet, but find 

Thou art so thriftless 0^ thy sweets, 
Thy favours are the silly wind 

That kisses ilka thing it meets. 

II. 

See yonder rosebud rich in dew, 

Amang its native briers sae coy, 
How sune it tines its scent and hue. 

When pu'd and worn a common toy ! 
Sic fate ere lang shall thee betide, 

Tho' thou may gaily bloom awhile. 
And sune thou shalt be thrown aside, 

Like onie common weed, an^ vile. 



SENSIBILITY HOW CHARM- 
ING. 



[Written for Johnson's 
Burns.] 



Museum" by 



Sensibility how charming. 

Thou, my friend, can'st truly tell I 

But Distress with horrors arming 
Thou alas ! hast known too well ! 



II. 

Fairest flower, behold the lily 
Blooming in the sunny ray : 



Let the blast sweep o'er the valley. 
See it prostrate in the clay. 



III. 



Hear the woodlark charm the forest, 
Telling o'er his little joys ; 

But alas ! a prey the surest 
To each pirate of the skies ! 



IV. 



Dearly bought the hidden treasure 
Finer feelings can bestow : 

Chords that vibrate sweetest pleasure 
Thrill the deepest notes of woe. 



YON WILD MOSSY MOUN- 
TAINS. 

[" The song alludes to a part of my pri- 
vate history which is of no consequence to 
the world to know." (R. B.)] 

I. 

Yon wild mossy mountains sae lofty 

and wide. 
That nurse in their bosom the youth 

o' the Clyde, 
Where the grouse lead their coveys 

thro' the heather to feed. 
And the shepherd tents his flock as 

he pipes on his reed. 

II. 

Not Cowrie's rich valley nor Forth's 

sunny shores 
To me hae the charms o' yon wild, 

mossy moors ; 
For there, by a lanely, sequestered 

stream. 
Resides a sweet lassie, my thought 

and my dream. 

III. 

Amang thae wild mountains shall still 

be my path. 
Ilk stream foaming down its ain green, 

narrow strath ; 



258 



IT IS NA, JEAN, THY BONIE FACE. 



For there vvi^ my lassie the lang day 

I rove, 
While o'er us unheeded flie the swift 

hours o' love. 

IV. 

She is not the fairest, altho' she is 

fair; 
O' nice education but sma' is her 

share ; 
Her parentage humble as humble 

can be ; 
But I lo'e the dear lassie because 

she lo"'es me. 



To Beauty what man but maun yield 

him a prize, 
In her armour of glances, and blushes, 

and sighs ? 
And when Wit and Refinement hae 

polish'd her darts. 
They dazzle our een, as they flie to 

our hearts. 



VI. 

But kindness, sweet kindness, in the 
fond-sparkling e^e 

Has lustre outshining the diamond to 
me, 

And the heart beating love as I 'm 
clasp'd in her arms, 

O, these are my lassie's all-conquer- 
ing charms ! 



I HAE BEEN AT CROOKIEDEN. 

[Founded on an old Jacobite rhyme.] 

I. 

I HAE been at Crookieden — 

My bonie laddie, Highland laddie ! 

Viewing Willie and his men — 

My bonie laddie, Highland laddie ! 



There our foes that burnt and slew — 
My bonie laddie. Highland laddie 

There at last they gat their due — 
My bonie laddie, Highland laddie ! 



II. 

Satan sits in his black neuk — 
My bonie laddie. Highland laddie 

Breaking sticks to roast the Duke — 
My bonie laddie, Highland laddie 

The bloody monster gae a yell — 
My bonie laddie. Highland laddie 



the 



laugh 



gaed 



round a^ 



And loud 
Hell 
My bonie laddie. Highland laddie I 



IT IS NA, JEAN, THY BONIE 
FACE. 

[" Originally English verses : I gave them 
their Scots dress." (R. B.)] 



I. 

It is na, Jean, thy bonie face 

Nor shape that I admire, 
Akho' thy beauty and thy grace 

Might weel awauk desire. 
Something in ilka part o' thee 

To praise, to love, I find ; 
But, dear as is thy form to me, 

Still dearer is thy mind. 



II. 

Nae mair ungenVous wish I hae, 

Nor stronger in my breast, 
Than, if I canna mak thee sae, 

At least to see t]\ee blest : 
Content am I, if Heaven shall 
give 

But happiness to thee, 
And, as wi' thee I wish to live, 

For thee I 'd bear to dee. 



MY EPPIE MACXAB. — BONIE WEE THING. 



259 



MY EPPIE MACNAB. 

[" The old song with this title has more 
wit than decency." (R. B.)] 



O, SAW ye my dearie, my Eppie 
Macnab ? 

O, saw ye my dearie, my Eppie Mac- 
nab? 
' She *s down in the yard, she *s 
kissin the laird. 

She winna come hame to her ain Jock 
Rab ! ' 



II. 

O, come thy ways to me, my Eppie 

Macnab ! 
O, come thy ways to me, my Eppie 

Macnab ! 
Whate'er thou hast done, be it late, 

be it soon. 
Thou 's welcome again to thy ain 

Jock Rab. 



III. 

What says she, my dearie, my Eppie 

Macnab? 
What says she, my dearie, my Eppie \ 

Macnab ? 
' She lets thee to wit that she has ' 

thee forgot, i 

And for ever disowns thee, her ain 

Jock Rab.' 



rv. 

O. had I ne'er seen thee, my Eppie 

Macnab ! 
O, had I ne'er seen thee, my Eppie \ 

Macnab ! I 

As light as the air and as fause as j 

thou 's fair, | 

Thou's broken the heart o' thy ain 

Jock Rab ! | 



WHA IS THAT AT MY 
BOWER DOOR. 

[Without any manner of doubt, Burns's 
original was "Who But I, Quoth Finlay," 
"A new song, much in request, sung with 
its own proper tune."] 



'Wha is that at my bower door?' 

' O, wha is it but Findlay ! ' 
' Then gae your gate, ye *se nae be 
here.' 

' Indeed maun I I ' quo* Findlay. 
'What mak ye, sae like a thief?' 

*0, come and see ! ' quo' Findlay. 
^Before the morn ve'll work mis- 
chief? ' 

' Indeed will I ! ' quo' Findlay. 

n. 

'Gif I rise and let you in' — 

' Let me in ! ' quo' Findlay — 
' Ye '11 keep me wauken wi' your din?' 

' Indeed will I ! * quo' Findlay. 
" In my bower if ye should stay * — 

' Let me stay ! ' quo' Findlay — 
' I fear ye '11 bide till break o' day?' 

'Indeed will I !' quo' Findlay. 

III. 

' Here this night if ye remain ' — 

' I "11 remain ! ' quo' Findlay — 
" I dread ye *11 learn the gate again? ' 

'Indeed will I !' quo' Findlay. 
'What may pass within this bower' 

(•Let it pass ! ' quo' Findlay !) 
' Ye maun conceal till your last hour ' — 

' Indeed will I I * quo' Findlay. 



BOXIE WEE THING. 

[" Composed on my little idol, 
charming lovely Davies.' " (R. B.)] 



the 



C/iorus. 

Bonie wee thins^. cannie wee thin^:. 
Lovely wee thing, wert thou mine, 



26o 



THE TITHER MORN. — AE FOND KISS. 



I ^vad wear thee in my bosom 
Lest my jewel it should tine. 



I. 



Wishfully I look and languish 
In that bonie face o^ thine, 

And my heart it stounds wi' anguish, 
Lest my wee thing be na mine. 



II. 

Wit and Grace and Love and Beauty 

In ae constellation shine ! 
To adore thee is my duty, 

Goddess o' this soul o' mine ! 

Chorus. 

Bonie wee thing, cannie wee thing. 
Lovely wee thing, wert thou mine, 

I wad wear thee in my bosom 
Lest my jewel it should tine. 



THE TITHER MORN. 

[" This tune is originally from the High- 
lands. I have heard a Gaelic song to it, 
which I was told was very clever, but not 
by any means a lady's song." (R. B.)] 



I. 

The tither morn, when I forlorn 

Aneath an aik sat moaning, 
I did na trow I 'd see my jo 

Beside me gin the gloaming, 
But he sae trig lap o'er the rig. 

And dawtingly did cheer me. 
When I, what reck, did least expeck 

To see my lad sae near me ! 

II. 

His bonnet he a thought ajee 

Cock'd spunk when first he clasp'd 
me; 

And I, I wat, wi' fainness grat. 
While in his grips he pressed me. 

' Deil tak the war ! ' I late and air 
Hae wish'd since Jock departed ; 



But now as glad I "m wi' my lad 
As short syne broken-hearted. 



III. 

Fu' aft at e'en, wi' dancing keen. 

When a' were blythe and merry, 
I car'd na by, sae sad was I 

In absence o' my deary. 
But praise be blest ! my mind 's 
rest, 

I 'm happy wi' my Johnie ! 
At kirk and fair, I 'se ay be there, 

And be as canty 's onie. 



at 



AE FOND KISS. 

[Burns wrote to Mrs. M'Lehose (" Cla- 
rinda"), Dec. 27, 1791 : "I have just ten 
minutes before the post goes, and these I 
shall employ in sending you some songs 1 
have just been composing to different tunes 
for the ' Collection of Songs,' of which you 
have three volumes, and of which you shall 
have the fourth." The germ of " Ae Fond 
Kiss," is found in " The Parting Kiss," by 
Robert Dodsley (1703-1764).] 



I. 

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever ! 
Ae farewell, and then for ever ! 
Deep in heart-wrung tears I '11 pledge 

thee. 
Warring sighs and groans I '11 wage 

thee. 
Who shall say that Fortune grieves 

him. 
While the star of hope she leave? 

him? 
Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me. 
Dark despair around benights me. 

II. 

I '11 ne'er blame my partial fancy : 
Naething could resist my Nancy ! 
But to see her was to love her. 
Love but her, and love for ever. 
Had we never lov'd sae kindly. 
Had we never lov'd sae blindly. 



LOVELY DAVIES. — THE WEARY FUND O' TOW. 



261 



Never met — or never parted — 
We had ne'er been broken-hearted. 



III. 

Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest ! 

Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest ! 

Thine be ilka joy and treasure, 

Peace, Enjoyment, Love, and Pleas- 
ure I 

Ae fond kiss and then we sever ! 

Ae farewell, alas, for ever ! 

Deep in heart-wrung tears I *11 pledge 
thee, 

Warring sighs and groans I '11 wage 
thee. 



III. 



LOVELY DAVIES. 

[This was composed in honor of the 
lady who inspired " The Bonie Wee Thing." 
"We know not much about the Lovely 
Davies, but in Burns's stanzas she is the 
very sovereign of Nature." — WILLIAM 
Scott Douglas.] 

L 

O, HOW shall L unskilfu', try 

The Poet's occupation? 
The tunefu' Powers, in happy hours 

That whisper inspiration, 
Even they maun dare an effort mair 

Than aught they ever gave us, 
Ere they rehearse in equal verse 

The charms o' lovely Davies- 

n. 

Each eye, it cheers, when she appears, 

Like Phoebus in the morning, 
WTien past the shower, and every 
flower 
The garden is adorning ! 
As the wretch looks o'er Siberia's 
shore. 
When winter-bound the wave is, 
Sae droops our heart, when we maun 
part 
Frae charming, lovely Davies. 



Her smile 's a gift frae 'boon the lift, 

That maks us mair than princes. 
A sceptred hand, a king's command, 



Is in her darting glances. 



arms 



gamst 



female 



the 



The man in 
charms. 
Even he her willing slave is : 
He hugs his chain, and owns 
reign 
Of conquering lovely Davies. 

IV. 

My Muse to dream of such a theme 

Her feeble powers surrenders ; 
The eagle's gaze alone sur^-eys 

The sun's meridian splendours. 
I wad in vain essay the strain — 

The deed too daring brave is ! 
I '11 drap the lyre, and. mute, admire 

The charms o' lovely Davies = 



THE W^EARY PUND O' TOW^ 

[Buchan furnished Hogg and Mother- 
well with several stanzas of a "very old 
song, which perhaps Burns had in view 
when he composed the above."] 

Chorus. 

The weary pund, the wxary pund, 
The weary pund o' tow ! 

I think my wife will end her life 
Before she spin her tow. 

I. 

I BOUGHT my wife a stane o' lint 

As guid as e'er did grow. 
And a" that she has made o' that 

Is ae puir pund o' tow. 

II. 

There sat a bottle in a bole 

Beyont the ingle low ; 
And ay she took the tither souk 

To drouk the stourie tow. 



26: 



I HAE A WIFE O' MY AIX. — O, FOR AXE-AXD-T\YEXTY, TAM. 



III. 
For shame. 



ve 



dirty 



Quoth I : — 
dame, 

Gae spin your tap o' tow I ' 
She took the rock, and \vi' a knock 

She brake it o'er my pow. 

IV. 

At last her feet — I sang to see 't ! — 
Gaed foremost o'er the knowe, 

And or I wad anither jad, 
1 11 wallop in a tow. 

Chorus. 

The weary pund, the weary pund, 
The weary pund o' tow I 

I think my wife will end her life 
Before she spin her tow. 



I HAE A \YIFE O' MY AIX. 

[Composed a few days after Burns's 
marriage.] 



I HAE a wife o' my ain, 
I '11 partake wi' naebody : 

I '11 take cuckold frae nane, 
I '11 gie cuckold to naebody. 

n. 

I hae a penny to spend. 

There — thanks to naebody ! 

I hae naething to lend, 
I '11 borrow frae naebody. 



III. 

I am naebody's lord. 

I *11 be slave to naebody. 
I hae a guid braid sword, 

I '11 tak dunts frae naebody 

IV. 

I '11 be merry and free, 
I *11 be sad for naebody. 

Naebody cares for me, 
I care for naebody. 



WHEN SHE CAM BExN, SHE 
BOBBED. 

[The first two stanzas differ very slightly 
from the first two of an old set. The others 
are pure Burns.] 



I. 

O. WHEN she cam ben, she bobbed 

fu^ law I 
O. when she cam ben, she bobbed 

fu' law ! 
And when she cam ben, she kiss'd 

Cockpen, 
And syne she deny'd she did it at a' ! 

II. 

And was na Cockpen right saucy 

witha' .? 
And was na Cockpen right saucy 

witha\ 
In leaving the dochter o' a lord, 
And kissin a collier lassie an' a' ? 

III. 

O, never look down, my lassie, at a' ! 

O, never look down, my lassie, at a' ! 

Thy lips are as sweet, and thy figure 

complete. 

As the finest dame in castle or ha\ 



^ Tho' thou hast nae silk, and hol- 

land sae sma'. 
The' thou hast nae silk, and holland 

sae sma'. 
Thy coat and thy sark are thy ain 

handy wark, 
And Lady Jean was never sae braw."* 



O, FOR ANE-AXD-T\VENTY, 
TAM. 

[Perhaps suggested by a song in " The 
Pretty Maiden's Amusement," and other 
undated song-books.] 



O, LEEZE ME ON MY SPINNIN-WHEEL. 



263 



Chorus. 

An' O, for ane-and-twenty. Tarn ! 

And hey, sweet ane-and-twenty, 
Tarn ! 
I '11 learn my kin a rattlin sang 

An I saw ane-and-twenty, Tarn. 



They snool me sair, and baud me 
down, 
And gar me look like bluntie, Tam ; 
But three short years will soon wheel 
roun' — 
And then comes ane-and-twenty, 
Tam! 

II. 

A gleib o' lan\ a claut o' gear 
Was left me by my auntie, Tam. 

At kith or kin I needna spier. 
An I saw ane-and-twenty, Tam. 

III. 

They'll hae me wed a wealthy coof, 

_Tho' I mysel hae plenty. Tam ; 
But hear'st thou, laddie — there 's my 
loof: 
I 'm thine at ane-and-twenty, Tam ! 

Chortis. 

An' O, for ane-and-twenty. Tam ! 

And hey, sweet ane-and-twenty, 
Tam! 
I '11 learn my kin a rattlin sang 

An I saw ane-and-twenty, Tam. 



O, KENMURE'S ON AND AWA, 
WILLIE. 

[William Gordon, sixth Viscount Ken- 
mure, took up the Jacobite cause in 1715. 
He was taken prisoner at Preston Pans, 
Nov. 14, and beheaded on Tower Hill, Feb. 
24, 17 16.] 



O, Kenmure 's on and awa, Willie, 
O, Kenmure 's on and awa ! 



An' Kenmure's lord 's the bravest lord 
That ever Galloway saw ! 

II. 

Success to Kenmure's band. Willie, 
Success to Kenmure's band ! 

There 's no a heart that fears a Whig 
That rides by Kenmure's hand. 



III. 

Here 's Kenmure's health in wine, 
Willie, 
Here 's Kenmure's health in wine ! 
There ne'er was a coward o' Ken- 
mure's blude. 
Nor yet o' Gordon's line. 

IV. 

O, Kenmure's lads are men, Willie, 
O, Kenmure's lads are men ! 

Their hearts and swords are metal 
true, 
And that their faes shall ken. 



V. 

They'll live or die wi' fame, WiUie, 
They '11 live or die wi' fame ! 

But soon wi' sounding Victorie 
May Kenmure's lord come hame ! 



VI. 

Here 's him that 's far awa. Willie, 
Here 's him that 's far awa ! 

And here's the flower that I lo'e 
best — 
The rose that 's like the snaw ! 



O, LEEZE ME ON MY SPINNIN- 
WHEEL. 

[This charming song was no doubt 
suggested by " The Loving Lass and Spin- 
ning-Wheel " in Ramsay's " Tea-Table Mis- 
cellany."] 



O, LEEZE me on my spinnin-wheel ! 
And leeze me on my rock and reel, 



264 MY COLLIER LADDIE. — NITHSDALE'S WELCOME HAME. 



Frae tap to tae that deeds me bien. 
And haps me fiel and warm at e^en ! 
I '11 set me down, and sing, and spin, 
While laigh descends the summer 

sun, 
Blest wi' content, and milk and 

meal — 
O, leeze me on my spinnin-wheel ! 

II. 

On ilka hand the burnies trot, 
And meet below my theekit cot. 
The scented birk and hawthorn white 
Across the pool their arms unite. 
Alike to screen the birdie's nest 
And little fishes' caller rest. 
The sun blinks kindly in the biel. 
Where blythe I turn my spinnin- 
wheel. 

ni. 

On lofty aiks the cushats w^ail, 
And Echo cons the doolfu' tale. 
The lintwhites in the hazel braes, 
Delighted, rival ither's lays. 
The craik amang the claver hay, 
The paitrick whirrin o'er the ley, 
The swallow jinkin round my shiel, 
Amuse me at my spinnin-wheel. 

IV. 

Wi' sma to sell and less to buy, 

Aboon distress, below env}', 
O, wha wad leave this humble state 
For cC the pride of a' the great ? 
Amid their flaring, idle toys. 
Amid their cumbrous, dinsome joys, 
Can they the peace and pleasure feel 
Of Bessy at her spinnin-wheel ? 



MY COLLIER LADDIE. 

["I do not know a blither old song than 
this." (R. B.)] 



' O, WHARE live ye, my bonie lass. 
And tell me how they ca' ye ? ' 



*My name,' she says, 4s Mistress 
Jean, 
And I follow the collier laddie.' 



II. 



' O, see you not yon hills and dales 
The sun shines on sae brawdie? 

They a' are mine, and they shall be 
thine. 
Gin ye '11 leave your collier laddie ! 



III. 



^ An' ye shall gang in gay attire, 
Weel buskit up sae gaudy, 

And ane to wait on every hand. 
Gin ye '11 leave your collier laddie ! ' 



IV. 



^Tho' ye had a' the sun shines on, 
And the earth conceals sae lowly, 

I wad turn my back on you and it a', 
And embrace my collier laddie. 



V. 

^ I can win my five pennies in a day, 
An' spend it at night fu' brawlie, 

And make my bed in the collier's 
neuk 
And lie down wi' my collier laddie. 

VI. 

^Loove for loove is the bargain for 
me, 
Tho' the wee cot-house should haud 
me. 
And the w^arld before me to win my 
bread — 
And fair fa' my collier laddie ! ' 



NITHSDALE'S WELCOME 
HAME. 

[William Lord Maxwell, who was sen- 
tenced to decapitation on Tower Hill, Feb. 



IN SIMMER, WHEN THE HAY WAS MA WN.— FAIR ELIZA. 265 



24, 1716, for his share in the " Fifteen," but 
escaped the night before the execution.] 

I. 

The noble Maxwells and their powers 

Are coming o'er the border ; 
And they 'll gae big Terreagles' 
towers. 

And set them a' in order ; 
And they declare Terreagles fair, 

For their abode they choose it : 
There 's no a heart in a' the land 

But 's lighter at the news o 't ! 

II. 

Tho' stars in skies may disappear, 

And angry tempests gather, 
The happy hour may soon be near 

That brings us pleasant weather ; 
The weary night o^ care and grief 

May hae a joyRf morrow ; 
So dawning day has brought relief — 

Faxeweel our night o^ sorrow ! 



IN SIMMER, WHEN THE HAY 
WAS MAWN. 

[The stanza is modified from the ballad 
octave. The Burns Ms. is in the Hastie 
Collection.] 

I. 

In simmer, when the hay was mawn 
And corn wav'd green in ilka field. 
While claver blooms white o'er the 
ley. 
And roses blaw in ilka bield, 
Blythe Bessie in the milking shiel 
Says : — ^ 1 11 be wxd, come o 't what 
will!' 
Out spake a dame in wrinkled 
eild : — 
' C guid advisement comes nae ill. 

II. 

' It 's ye hae w^ooers monie ane, 
And lassie, ye Ve but young, ye ken! 

Then wait a wee, and cannie wale 
A routhie butt, a routhie ben. 



There Johnie o' the Buskie-Glen, 
Fu* is his barn, fu' is his byre. 

Tak this frae me, my bonie hen ; 
It *s plenty beets the luver's fire ! ' 

ni. 

' For Johnie o' the Buskie-Glen 

I dinna care a single flie : 
He lo'es sae weel his craps and kye. 

He has nae love to spare for me. 

But blythe 's the blink o^ Robie's e*e, 
And weel I wat he lo'es me dear: 

Ae blink o' him I wad na gie 
For Buskie-Glen and a' his gear.' 

IV. 

* O thoughtless lassie, life 's a faught! 

The canniest gate, the strife is sair. 
But ay fu'-han't is fechtin best : 
A hungry care's an unco care. 
But some will spend, and some will 
spare. 
An' wilfu* folk maun hae their will. 
Syne as ye brew, my maiden fair. 
Keep mind that ye maun drink the 
yill I ' 

V. 

• O, gear will buy me rigs o' land. 

And gear will buy me sheep and 
kye ! 
But the tender heart o' leesome loove 
The gowd and siller canna buy ! 
We may be poor, Robie and I ; 
Light is the burden luve lays on : 
Content and loove brings peace and 
joy : 
What mair hae Queens upon a 
throne ? ' 



FAIR ELIZA. 

[Two copies in Burns's hand are in the 
Hastie Collection. In the earlier the lady's 
name is Robina.] 



Turn again, thou fair Eliza ! 
Ae kind blink before we part ! 



266 



YE JACOBITES BY NAME. — THE POSIE. 



Rew on thy despairing lover — 
Canst thou break his faith fiv heart ? 

Turn again, thou fair Eliza ! 
If to love thy heart denies, 

For pity hide the cruel sentence 
Under friendship's kind disguise ! 



II. 

Thee, dear maid, hae I offended ? 

The offence is loving thee. 
Canst thou wreck his peace for ever, 

Wha for thine wad gladly die? 
While the life beats in my bosom, 

Thou shalt mix in ilka throe. 
Turn again, thou lovely maiden, 

Ae sweet smile on me bestow ! 



III. 

Not the bee upon the blossom 

In the pride o' sinny noon, 
Not the little sporting fairy 

All beneath the simmer moon. 
Not the Poet in the moment 

Fancy lightens in his e'e. 
Kens the pleasure, feels the rapture, 

That thy presence gies to me. 



YE JACOBITES BY NAME. 

[" If a reference to the French Revolu- 
tion is meant, it is extremely obscure. The 
' man undone,' if Henry, Cardinal Duke of 
York, is intended, had, of course, no party, 
except the Laird of Gask, in 1792, when the 
song was published." — ANDREW Lang.] 



Ye Jacobites by name, 

Give an ear, give an ear ! 
Ye Jacobites by name, 

Give an ear ! 
Ye Jacobites by name, 
Your fautes I will proclaim. 
Your doctrines I maun blame 

You shall hear ! 



IL 

What is Right, and what is Wrang, 

By the law, by the law ? 
What is Right, and what is Wrang, 

By the law ? 
What is Right, and what is Wrang ? 
A short sword and a lang, 
A wedk arm and a Strang 

For to draw ! 



III. 

What makes heroic strife 

Famed afar, famed afar ? 
What makes heroic strife 

Famed afar ? 
What makes heroic strife ? 
To whet th' assassin's knife, 
Or hunt a Parent's life 

Wi' bluidy war ! 

IV. 

Then let your schemes alone, 
In the State, in the State ! 
Then let your schemes alone, 

In the State! 
Then let your schemes alone, 
Adore the rising sun, 
And leave a man undone 
To his fate ! 



THE POSIE. 

[" ' The Posie ' in the ' Museum ' is my 
composition; the air was taken down from 
Mrs. Burns's voice. It is well known in the 
west country, but the old words are trash." 
(R. B.)] 



O, LUVE will venture in where it daur 

na weel be seen ! 
O, luve will venture in, where wisdom 

ance hath been ! 
But I will doun yon river rove amang 

the wood sae green. 
And a' to pu' a posie to my ain 

dear May ! 



THE BANKS O' DOON. — WILLIE WASTLE. 



267 



II. 

The primrose I will pu^, the firstling 

o^ the year, 
And I will pu^ the pink, the emblem 

o^ my dear, 
For she 's the pink o' w^omankind, and 

blooms without a peer — 
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear 

May! 

III. 

I '11 pu' the budding rose when Phoe- 
bus peeps in view, 

For it 's like a baumy kiss o' her 
sweet, bonie mou. 

The hyacinth's for constancy wi' its 
unchanging blue — 
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear 
May! 

IV. 

The lily it is pure, and the lily it is 
fair, 

And in her lovely bosom I '11 place 
the lily there. 

The daisy's for simplicity and un- 
affected air — 
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear 
May ! 

V. 

The hawthorn I will pu', wi' its locks 

o' siller gray, 
Where, like an aged man, it stands 

at break o' day ; 
But the songster's nest within the 

bush I winna tak away — 
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear 

May ! 

VI. 

The woodbine I will pu' when the 

e'ening star is near, 
And the diamond draps o' dew shall 

be her een sae clear ! 
The violet 's for modesty, which weel 

she fa's to wear — 
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear 

May ! 



VII. 

I 'i\ tie the posie round wi' the silken 

band o' luve, 
And I '11 place it in her breast, and 

I '11 swear by a' above. 
That to my latest draught o' life the 

band shall ne'er remove. 
And this will be a posie to my ain 

dear May ! 



THE BANKS O' DOON. 

[" An Ayrshire Legend," according to 
Allan Cunningham, " says the heroine of 
this affecting song was Pegg Kennedy of 
Daljarroch."] 

I. 

Ye banks and braes o' bonie Doon, 
How can ye bloom sae fresh and 
fair ? 
How can ye chant, ye little birds. 

And I sae w^eary fu' o' care ! 
Thou'll break my heart, thou war- 
bling bird, 
That wantons thro' the flowering 
thorn ! 
Thou minds me o' departed joys, 
Departed never to return. 

II. 

Aft hae I rov'd by bonie Doon 

To see the rose and woodbine 
twine, 
And ilka bird sang o' its luve. 

And fondly sae did I o' mine. 
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose, 

Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree ! 
And my fause luver staw my rose — 

But ah ! he left the thorn wi' me. 



WILLIE WASTLE. 

[The heroine is said to have been the 
wife of a farmer who lived near Ellisland. 
A cottage in Peeblesshire was known by the 



268 



LADY MARY ANN. 



name of Linkumdoddie, but probably it was 
so named after Burns wrote his song.] 



I. 

Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed, 

The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie. 
Willie was a wabster guid 

Could stown a clue wi' onie bodie. 
He had a wife was dour and din, 

O, Tinkler Maidgie was her mither ! 
Sic a wife as Willie had, 

I wad na gie a button for her. 



II. 

She has an e'e (she has but ane), 

The cat has twa the very colour, 
Five rusty teeth, forbye a stump, 

A clapper-tongue wad deave a mil- 
ler ; 
A whiskin beard about her mou, 

Her nose and chin they threaten 
ither : 
Sic a wife as Willie had, 

I wad na gie a button for her. 



III. 

She's bow-hough'd, she *s hem-shin'd, 

Ae limpin leg a hand - breed 
shorter : 
She's twisted right, she 's twisted left. 

To balance fair in ilka quarter ; 
She has a hump upon her breast, 

The twin o' that upon her shouther : 
Sic a wife as Willie had, 

I wad na gie a button for her. 



IV. 

Auld baudrans by the ingle sits, 

An' wi' her loof her face a-washin ; 
But Willie's wife is nae sae trig. 

She dights her grunzie wi' a hush- 
ion ; 
Her walie nieves like midden-creels. 

Her face w^ad fyle the Logan Water : 
Sic a wife as Willie had, 

I wad na gie a button for her. 



LADY MARY ANN. 

[An old ballad in the northern and western 
parts of Scotland. Burns got the germ of 
his song from a fragment in the Herd Ms. ] 



O, Lady Mary Ann looks o'er the 

Castle wa'. 
She saw three bonie boys playing at 

the ba'. 
The youngest he was the flower 

amang them a' — 
My bonie laddie 's young, but he 's 

growin yet ! 



II. 

< O father, O father, an ye think it fit. 
We '11 send him a year to the college 

yet; 
We '11 sew a green ribbon round about 

his hat. 
And that will let them ken he 's to 

marry yet ! ' 



m. 

Lady Mary Ann was a flower in the 

dew. 
Sweet was its smell and bonie w^as 

its hue, 
And the longer it blossom'd the 

sweeter it grew, 
For the lily in the bud will be 

bonier yet. 



IV. 

Young CharHe Cochran was the sprout 

of an aik : 
Bonie and bloomin and straucht was 

its make ; 
The sun took delight to shine for its 

sake. 
And it will be the brag o' the 

forest yet. 



SUCH A PARCEL OF ROGUES. — KELLYBURN BRAES. 



269 



V. 



The simmer is gane when the leaves 

they were green, 
And the davs are awa that we hae 



seen 



But far better days I trust will come 
again, 
For my bonie laddie's young, but 
he's growin yet. 



SUCH A PARCEL OF ROGUES 
IN A NATION. 

[The refrain is borrowed from the name 
of the old air to which it is adapted.] 



Fareweel to a' our Scottish fame, 

Fareweel our ancient glory ! 
Fareweel ev'n to the Scottish name, 

Sae famed in martial story ! 
Now Sark rins over Solway sands, 

An' Tweed rins to the ocean. 
To mark where England's province 
stands — 

Such a parcel of rogues in a nation ! 

II. 

What force or guile could not subdue 

Thro' many warlike ages 
Is wrought now by a coward few 

For hireling traitor's wages. 
The English steel we could disdain. 

Secure in valour's station ; 
But English gold has been our bane — 

Such a parcel of rogues in a nation ! 

III. 

O, would, or I had seen the day 

That Treason thus could sell us, 
My auld grey head had lien in clay 

Wi' Bruce and loyal Wallace ! 
But pith and power, till my last hour 

I II mak this declaration : — 
'We 're bought and sold for English 
gold' — 

Such a parcel of rogues in a nation ! 



KELLYBURN BRAES. 

[The Kell}' burn {i.e., brook) forms the 
northern boundary of Ayrshire, and the 
ballad has no connection with Nithsdale 
or Galloway. Burns derived his material, 
probably, from an old English blackletter 
ballad, " The Devil and the Scold."] 



There lived a carl in Kellyburn Braes 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' 
thyme !), 
And he had a wife was the plague o' 
his days 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and 
rue is in prime !). 



II. 



Ae day as the carl gaed up the lang 
glen 
(Hey and the nae grows bonie wi' 
thyme !), 
He met wi' the Devil, says : — • How 
do you fen ? ' 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and 
rue is in prime !). 



III. 

' I 've got a bad wife, sir, that 's a' my 
complaint 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' 
thyme I), 
For, saving your presence, to her ye *re 
a saint' 
(And the thyme it is withefd, and 
rue is in prime !). 

rv. 

' It 's neither your stot nor your staig 
I shall crave 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' 
thyme !), 
* But gie me your wife, man, for her I 
must have ' 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, 
and rue is in prime !). 



270 



KELLYBURN BRAES. 



V. 

' O welcome most kindly ! ^ the blythe 
carl said 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' 
thyme !), 
^ But if ye can match her ye Ve waur 
than ye Ye ca'd ^ 
(And the thyme it is withered, and 
rue is in prime !). 

VI. 

The Devil has got the auld wife on 
his back 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' 
thyme !), 
And like a poor pedlar he 's carried 
his pack 
(And the thyme it is withered, and 
rue is in prime !). 

VII. 

He 's carried her hame to his ain hal- 
lan-door 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' 
thyme !), 
Syne bade her gae in for a bitch and 
a whore 
(And the thyme it is withered, and 
rue is in prime !). 

VIII. 

Then straight he makes fifty, the pick 
o^ his band 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' 
thyme !), 
Turn out on her guard in the clap o^ 
a hand 
(And the thyme it is withered, and 
rue is in prime !) . 



IX. 

The carlin gaed thro' them like onie 

wud bear 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' 

thyme !) : 
Whae'er she gat hands on cam ne'er 

her nae mair 



(And the thyme it is withered, and 
rue is in prime !). 

X. 

A reekit wee deevil looks over the wa' 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' 
thyme !) : — 
' O help, maister, help, or she '11 ruin 
us a' ! ' 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and 
rue is in prime !). 

XI. 

The Devil he swore by the edge o' his 
knife 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' 
thyme !), 
He pitied the man that was tied to a 
wife 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and 
rue is in prime !) . 

XII. 

The Devil he swore by the kirk and 
the bell 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' 
thyme !), 
He was not in wedlock, thank Heav'n, 
but in Hell 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and 
rue is in prime !). 

XIII. 

Then Satan has travelled again wi' his 
pack 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie w^i' 
thyme !), 
And to her auld husband he 's carried 
her back 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and 
rue is in prime !). 

XIV. 

'I hae been a Devil the feck o' my 
life 
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' 
thyme !), 



THE SLAVE'S LAMENT. — SWEET AFTON. 



271 



But ne'er was in Hell till I met wi' a 
wife ' 
(And the thyme it is withered, and 
rue is in prime !) . 



THE SLAVE'S LAMENT. 

[The original is probably a blackletter 
broadside, " The Trappan'd Maiden, or 
The Distressed Damsel."] 



It was in sweet Senegal 
That my foes did me enthral 

For the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O ! 
Torn from that lovely shore, 
And must never see it more, 

And alas ! I am weary, weary, O ! 

II. 

All on that charming coast 
Is no bitter snow and frost, 

Like the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O! 
There streams for ever flow, 
And the flowers for ever blow, 

And alas ! I am weary, weary, O ! 

III. 

The burden I must bear. 
While the cruel scourge I fear. 

In the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O ! 
And I think on friends most dear 
With the bitter, bitter tear. 

And alas ! I am weary, weary, O ! 



THE SONG OF DEATH. 

[" I have just finished the following song, 
which, to a lady, the descendant of many 
heroes of her truly illustrious line, and her- 
self the mother of several soldiers, needs 
neither preface nor apology." (R. B.)] 



Farewell, thou fair day, thou green 
earth, and ye skies. 
Now gay with the broad setting 
sun ! 



Farewell, loves and friendships, ye 
dear tender ties — 
Our race of existence is run ! 
Thou grim King of Terrors ! thou 
Life's gloomy foe. 
Go, frighten the coward and 
slave 1 
Go, teach them to tremble, fell tyrant, 
but know. 
No terrors hast thou to the brave ! 



II. 

Thou strik'st the dull peasant — he 
sinks in the dark. 
Nor saves e'en the. wreck of a 
name ! 
Thou strik'st the young hero — a 
glorious mark. 
He falls in the blaze of his fame ! 
In the field of proud honour, our 
swords in our hands. 
Our king and our country to 
save. 
While victory shines on Life's last 
ebbing sands, 
O, who would not die with the 
brave ? 



SWEET AFTON. 

[There has been no little discussion as to 
the date, the heroine, and the scene of this 
song. Burns, in a letter to Mrs. Dunlop, 
Feb. 5, 1789, declares that it was written as 
a "compliment" to the "small river Afton, 
that flows into Nith, near New Cumnock, 
which has some charming, wild romantic 
scenery on its banks."] 



. I. 

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy 

green braes ! 
Flow gently, I '11 sing thee a song in 

thy praise ! 
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring 

stream — 
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not 

her dream ! 



272 



BONIE BELL.— THE GALLANT WEAVER. 



II. 

Thou stock dove whose echo resounds 
thro^ the glen, 

Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon 
thorny den, 

Thou green-crested lapwing, thy 
screaming forbear — 

I charge you, disturb not my slumber- 
ing fair ! 

III. 

How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neigh- 
bouring hills, 

Far marked with the courses of clear, 
winding rills ! 

There daily I wander, as noon rises 
high. 

My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot 
in my eye. 

IV. 

How pleasant thy banks and green 

vallies below, 
Where wild in the woodlands the 

primroses blow 
There oft, as mild Evening weeps over 

the lea, 
The sweet-scented birk shades my 

Mary and me 

V. 

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely 

it glides. 
And winds by the cot where my 

Mary resides ! 
How wanton thy waters her snowy 

feet lave. 
As, gathering sweet flowerets, she 

stems thy clear wave ! 

VI. 

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy 

green braes ! 
Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of 

my lays ! 
My Mary 's asleep by thy murmuring 

stream — 



Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not 
her dream ! 



BONIE BELL. 

[Written for Johnson's " Museum " by 
Burns. Nothing is known of the heroine.] 

I. 

The smiling Spring comes in rejoic- 
ing, 
And surly Winter grimly flies. 
Now crystal clear are the falling 
waters, 
And bonie blue are the sunny skies. 
Fresh o'er the mountains breaks forth 
the morning. 
The ev'ning gilds the ocean's swell : 
All creatures joy in the sun's return- 
ing, 
And I rejoice in my bonie Bell. 

II. 

The flowery Spring leads sunny 
summer, 
The yellow Autumn presses near ; 
Then in his turn comes gloomy 
Winter, 
Till smiling Spring again appear. 
Thus seasons dancing, life advancing, 
Old Time and Nature their changes 
tell ; 
But never ranging, still unchanging, 
I adore my bonie Bell. 



THE GALLANT WEAVER. 

[Supposed by some to refer to Armour's 
visit to Paisley in the spring of 1786. Pub- 
hshed in Thomson, with " sailor " substi- 
tuted for " weaver,"] 

I. 

Where Cart rins rowin to the sea 
By monie a flower and spreading tree 
There lives a lad, the lad for me — 
He is a gallant weaver ! 



HEY, CV THRO'. — O, CAN YE LABOUR LEA. 



273 



O, I had wooers aught or nine, 
They gied me rings and ribbons fine, 
And' I was fear'd my heart wad tine, 
And I gied it to the weaver. 

II. 

My daddie signed my tocher-band 
To gie the lad that has the land ; 
But to my heart I '11 add my hand, 

And give it to the weaver. 
While birds rejoice in leafy bowers, 
While bees delight in opening flowers, 
While corn grows green in summer 
showers, 

I love my gallant weaver. 



HEY, CA' THRO'. 

[Probably suggested by some old rhymes 
on the coast towns of Fife, which Bums 
picked up in Edinburgh.] 

Chorus, 

Hey, ca* thro\ ca' thro', 
For we hae mickle ado ! 
Hey, ca' thro', ca' thro'. 
For wx hae mickle ado ! 



Up wi' the carls of Dysart 
And the lads o' Buckhaven, 

And the kimmers o* Largo 
And the lassies o' Leven ! 



II. 

We hae tales to tell, 

And we hae sangs to sing ; 
We hae pennies to spend. 

And we hae pints to bring. 

III. 

We '11 live a' our days, 

And them that comes behin', 
Let them do the like. 

And spend the gear they win ! 



Chorus. 

Hey, ca' thro\ ca' thro', 
For we hae mickle ado ! 
Hey, ca' thro', ca' thro', 
For we hae mickle ado I 



O, CAN YE LABOUR LEA. 

[An old song preserved in " The Merry 
Muses," retouched and enlarged by Bums.] 



Chorus. 

O, can ye labour lea, young man, 

O, can ye labour lea ? 
Gae back the gate ye came again — 

Ye 'se never scorn me ! 



I fee'd a man at Martinmas 
Wi' airle-pennies three ; 

But a' the faut I had to him 
He couldna labour lea. 



II. 



O, clappin 's guid in Febarwar, 
An' kissin 's sweet in May ; 

But what signifies a young man's 
love. 
An 't dinna last for ay ? 



III. 

O, kissin is the key o' love 

An' clappin is the lock ; 
An' makin of 's the best thing 

That e'er a young thing got ! 

Chorus. 

O, can ye labour lea, young man, 

O. can ye labour lea ? 
Gae back the gate ye came again - 

Ye 'se never scorn me ! 



274 



THE DEIL'S AWA WP TH' EXCISEMAN. 



THE DEUK'S DANG O^ER MY 
DADDIE. 

[Adapted by Burns from an old song.] 

I. 

The bairns gat out wi' an unco 
shout : — 
' The deuk 's dang o'er my dad- 
die, O ! 
' The fien-ma-care,' quo' the feirrie 
auld wife, 
' He was but a paidlin body, O ! 
He paidles out, and he paidles in, 

An' he paidles late and early, O ! 
This seven lang years I hae lien by 
his side. 
An' he is but a fusionless carlie, O ! ' 



II. 

* O, haud your tongue, my feirrie auld 
wife, 
O, haud vour tongue, now Nan- 
sie, O ! ' 
I Ve seen the day, and sae hae ye, 

Ye w^ad na been sae donsie, 6. 
I "ve seen the day ye buttered my 
brose. 
And cuddrd me late and early, O ; 
But downa-do 's come o'er me now, 
And och, I find it sairlv, O ! ' 



SHE'S FAIR AND FAUSE. 

[The general allusion is to the girl who 
jilted Alexander Cunningham.] 



She 's fair and fause that causes my 
smart ; 
I lo'ed her meikle and lang ; 
She *s broken her vow, she 's broken 
my heart : 
And I mav e'en orae hanor. 
A coof cam in wi' routh o* gear, 
And I hae tint my dearest dear ; 



But Woman is but warld's gear, 
Sae let the bonie lass gang ! 



II. 

Whae'er ye be that Woman love, 

To this be never blind : 
Nae ferlie 'tis, tho' fickle she prove, 

A woman has 't by kind. 
O Woman lovely. Woman fair, 
An angel form 's faun to thy share, 
'T wad been o'er meikle to gien thee 
mair! . . . 

I mean an angel mind. 



THE DEIL'S AWA WI' TH' 
EXCISEMAN. 

[Burns states that he composed and sung 
this song at an Excise dinner in Dumfries.] 

Chonis. 

The Deil 's awa, the Deil 's awa. 
The Deil's awa wi' th' Exciseman! 

He 's danc'd awa, he 's danc'd awa. 
He 's danc'd awa wi' th' Exciseman! 



The Deil cam fiddlin thro' the town, 
And danc'd awa wi' th' Exciseman, 

And ilka wife cries : — ^ Auld Mahoun, 
I wish you luck o' the prize, man ! 



II. 



' We '11 mak our maut, and we '11 brew 
our drink. 
We'll laugh, sing, and rejoice, 
man, 
And monie braw thanks to the meikle 
black Deil, 
That danc'd awa wi' th' Excise- 



man: 



HI. 



There's threesome reels, there's four- 
some reels. 
There 's hornpipes and strathspeys, 



man, 



AS I STOOD BY YON ROOFLESS TOWER. 



275 



But the ae best dance ere cam to the 
land 
Was The Deil 'j Awa wP W Excise- 
7nan, 

Chorus, 

The Deil 's awa, the Deil 's awa, 
The Deil 's awa wi^ th' Exciseman ! 

He 's dancM awa, he 's dancM awa, 
He's danced awa wi' th' Excise- 
man! 



THE LOVELY LASS OF 
INVERNESS. 

[The song commemorates Culloden, 
April 16, 1746.] 



The lovely lass of Inverness, 

Nae joy nor pleasure can she see ; 

For e'en to morn she cries ' Alas ! ' 
And ay the saut tear blin's her 



II. 

' Drumossie moor, Drumossie day — 
A waefu' day it was to me ! 

For there I lost my father dear, 
My father dear and brethren three. 



III. 

Their winding-sheet the bluidy clay, 



Their graves are 
see, 



to 



And by them lies the dearest lad 
That ever blest a woman's e'e. 



IV. 

Now wae to thee, thou cruel lord, 

A bluidy man I trov/ thou be. 
For monie a heart thou hast made 
sair 
That ne'er did wTang to thine or 
thee ! 



A RED, RED ROSE. 

[Derived by Burns from old blackletter 
ballads.] 



O, MY luve is like a red, red rose, 
That 's newly sprung in June. 

O, my luve is like the melodie. 
That 's sweetly play'd in tune. . 



II. 

As fair art thou, my bonie lass. 

So deep in luve am I, 
And I will luve thee still, my dear, 

Till a' the seas gang dry. 

III. 

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear. 
And the rocks melt wi' the sun! 

And I will luve thee still, my dear. 
While the sands o' life shall run. 



IV. 

And fare thee weel, my only luve, 
And fare thee weel a while ! 

And I will come again, my luve, 
Tho' it were ten thousand mile ! 



AS I STOOD BY YON ROOF- 
LESS TOWER. 

[The "roofless tower" was part of the 
ruins of Lincluden Abbey, situated at the 
junction of the Cluden with the Nith.] 

Chor7is. 

A lassie all alone was making her 
moan, 
Lamenting our lads beyond the 
sea : — 
' In the bluidy wars they fa' and our 
honor 's gane an' a', 
And broken-hearted we maun die' 



276 



O, AN YE WERE DEAD, GUIDMAN. 



I. 

As I stood by yon roofless tower, 
Where the wa'flow'r scents the 
dewy air, 
Where the houlet mourns in her ivy 
bower. 
And tells the midnight moon her 
care : 

II. 

The winds were laid, the air was still, 
The stars they shot along the sky. 

The tod was howling on the hill. 
And the distant-echoing glens reply. 

III. 

The burn, adown its hazelly path, 
Was rushing by the ruin'd wa'. 

Hasting to join the sweeping Nith, 
Whase roarings seem'd to rise 
and fa\ 

IV. 

The cauld blae North was streaming 
forth 

Her lights, wi' hissing, eerie din : 
Athort the lift they start and shift. 

Like Fortune's favours, tint as win. 



Now, looking over firth and fauld. 
Her horn the pale-faced Cynthia 
rear'd. 

When low ! in form of minstrel auld 
A stern and stalwart ghaist appeared. 

VI. 

And frae his harp sic strains did flow. 
Might rous'd the slumbering Dead 
to hear. 

But O, it was a tale of woe 
As ever met a Briton's ear ! 

VII. 

He sang wi' joy his former day. 
He, weeping, waiPd his latter times : 

But what he said — it was nae play ! — 
I winna ventur 't in my rhymes. 



Chorus. 

A lassie all alone was making her 
moan, 
Lamenting our lads beyond the 



sea : 



* In the bluidy wars they fa', and our 
honor's gane an' a'. 
And broken-hearted we maun die.' 



O, AN YE WERE DEAD, 
GUIDMAN. 

[Revised and shortened fi?om an old set in 
Herd.] 

Chorus, 

Sing, round about the fire wi' a rung 

she ran, 
An' round about the fire wi' a rung 

she ran : — 
' Your horns shall tie you to the staw, 
An' I shall bang your hide, guidman ! ' 

I. 

AN ye were dead, guidman, 

A green turf on your head, guidman ! 

1 wad bestow my widowhood 
Upon a rantin Highlandman ! 

II. 

There 's sax eggs in the pan, guidman, 
There 's sax eggs in the pan, guidman : 
There 's ane to you, and twa to me. 
And three to our John Highlandman \ 

III. 
A sheep-head 's in the pot, guidman, 
A sheep-head 's in the pot, guidman : 
The flesh to him, the broo to me, 
An' the horns become your brow, 
guidman ! 

Chorus. 
Sing, round about the fire wi' a rung 



she ran, 
round a 
she ran : 



An' round about the fire wi' a rung 



' Your horns shall tie you to the staw. 
An' I shall bang your hide, guidman ! ' 



AULD LANG SYNE.— HAD I THE WYTE. 



277 



AULD LAXG SYNE. 

[Sent to Mrs. Diinlop, Dec. i-^ 1788: 
" Apropos, is not the Scotch phrase Auld 
Langsyne exceedingly expressive ? There 
is an old song and tune which has often 
thrilled through my soul," etc. 

'• Burns said that this famous lyric was 
traditional. The chorus ' lang syne ' does 
occur in a Jacobite ditty, attributed to ' a 
skulker in the year 1746.' Why Burns 
should have disclaimed the poem, if it was 
his, is hard to conjecture." — ANDREW 
Lang.] 

Chorus. 

For auld lang syne, my dear. 

For auld lang syne, 
We "11 tak a cup o' kindness yet 

For auld lang syne ! 



Should auld acquaintance be forgot. 
And never brought to mind? 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And auld lans: svne. 



II. 

And surely ye '11 be your pint-stowp. 

And surely I *11 be mine. 
And we *11 tak a cup o' kindness yet 

For auld lang syne ! 

in. 

We twa hae run about the braes, 
And pou'd the gowans line. 

But we 've wander'd monie a weary fit 
Sin' auld lang syne ! 

IV. 

We t^^a hae paidl'd in the burn 
Frae morning sun till dine. 

But seas between us braid hae roar'd 
Sin' auld lang syne. 



And there's a hand, my trusty fiere. 
And gie 's a hand o' thine, 



And we "11 tak a riorht goiid - willie 
waught 
For auld lang syne ! 

Chorus, 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 

For auld lang syne. 
We '11 take a cup o' kindness yet 

For auld lang syne ! 



LOUIS, 



WHAT RECK I 
THEE. 



BY 



[Probably made soon after his mar- 
riage, and certainly before the Revolution 
of 1795.] 



Louis, what reck I by thee, 
Or Geordie on his ocean ? 

Dyvor beggar iouns to me ! 
I reign in Jeanie's bosom. 

II. 

Let her crown my love her law. 
And in her breast enthrone me, 

Kings and nations — swith awa ! 
Reif randies, I disown ve. 



HAD I THE WYTE. 

[Burns's original was certainly a frag- 
ment in the Herd Ms. The inference is 
irresistible that the fragment in Herd sug- 
gested nvo songs to Burns, — one for publi- 
cation, and the other not?^ 



Had I the wyte? had I the wyte.^ 

Had I the wyte? she bade me ! 
She watch *d me by the hie-gate side, 

And up the loan she shaw'd me : 
And when I wadna venture in, 

A coward loon she ca'd me I 
Had Kirk and State been in the gate, 

I 'd hdited when she bade me. 



278 



COMIN THRO' THE RYE. — YOUNG JAMIE. 



II. 

Sae craftilie she took me ben 

And bade me mak nae clatter : — 
' For our ramgunshoch, glum guidman 

Is o^er ayont the water.' 
Whae'er shall say I wanted grace 

When I did kiss and dawte her, 
Let him be planted in my place, 

Syne say I was the fautor ! 

III. 

Could I for shame, could I for shame, 

Could I for shame refus'd her? 
And wadna manhood been to blame 

Had I unkindly used her? 
He clawM her wi' the ripplin-kame, 

And blae and bluidy bruis'd her — 
When sic a husband was frae hame, 

What wife but wad excused her ! 



IV. 

I dighted ay her een sae blue, 

An' bann'd the cruel randy, 
And, weel I wat, her willin mou' 

Was sweet as sugarcandLe. 
At gloamin-shot, it was, I wot, 

I lighted — on the Monday, 
But I cam thro' the Tyseday's dew 

To wanton Willie's brandy. 



COMIN THRO' THE RYE. 

[This is an old song dressed up a little 
by the poet.] 

Chorus. 

O, Jenny's a' weet, poor body, 

Jenny 's seldom dry : 
She draigl't a' her pe'tticoatie, 

Comin thro' the rye ! 



CoMiN thro' the rye, poor body, 

Comin thro' the rye, 
She draigl't a' her petticoatie, 

Comin thro' the rye ! 



II. 



Gin a body meet a body 
Comin thro' the rye, 

Gin a body kiss a body, 
Need a body cry? 



III. 



Gin a body meet a body 
Comin thro' the glen. 

Gin a body kiss a body. 
Need the warld ken ? 



Chorus. 



O, Jenny 's a' weet, poor body, 

Jenny 's seldom dry : 
She draigPt a' her petticoatie, 

Comin thro' the rye ! 



YOUNG JAMIE. 

[" Conceivably an appeal to the offended 
Mrs. Riddell." — Andrew Lang.] 



I. 

Young Jamie, pride of a' the plain, 
Sae gallant and sae gay a swain. 
Thro' a' our lasses he did rove, 
And reign'd resistless King of Love. 



II. 

But now, wi' sighs and starting tears, 
He strays amang the woods and 

breers ; 
Or in the glens and rocky caves 
His sad complaining dowie raves : — 



III. 

^ I, wha sae late did range and rove. 
And chang'd with every moon my 

love — 
I little thought the time was near. 
Repentance I should buy sae dear. 



OUT OVER THE FORTH. — CHARLIE HE'S MY DARLING. 279 



slighted 



IV. 

maids 



my torments 



^The 

see. 
And laugh at a* the pangs I dree ; 
While she, my cruel, scornful Fair, 
Forbids me e'er to see her mair.' 



OUT OVER THE FORTH. 

['' How do you like this thought in a 
ballad which I have just now on the tapis, 
• I look to the west ' ? " (R. B. to Alexan- 
der Cunningham, March 12, 1791.)] 

I. 

Out over the Forth, I look to the 
north — 
But what is the north, and its 
Highlands to me ? 
The south nor the east gie ease to 
my breast J 
The far foreign land or the wide 
rolling sea ! 



n. 

But I look to the west, when I gae to 
rest, 
That happy my dreams and my 
slumbers may be : 
For far in the west Uves he I loe 
best, 
The man that is dear to my babie 
and me. 



WANTONNESS FOR EVER- 
MAIR. 

[" The triolet is not uncommon in old 
Scots verse, and ' Wantonness for Ever- 
mair,' as passed through Burns, has an odd 
look of a triolet — Once upon a Time — 
which has been violently carried away from 
the grace of its first state by a ravisher who 
knew nothing of the form."] 

Wantonness for evermair, 
Wantonness has been my ruin. 



Yet for a' my dool and care 
It's wantonness for evermair. 

I hae lo'ed the Black, the Brown ; 
I hae lo'ed the Fair, the Gowden ! 

A' the colours in the town — 
I hae won their wanton favour. 



CHARLIE HE'S MY DARLINGc 

[The song was probably suggested by 
some Jacobite fragment. There is another 
set by Lady Xairne.] 

Chorus. 

An' Charlie he 's my darling, 
My darling, my darling, 
Charlie he 's my darling — 
The Youno: Chevalier ! 



'TwAS on a Monday morning 

Right early in the year. 
That Charlie came to our towm — 

The Young Chevalier ! 

II. 

As he was walking up the street 

The city for to view, 
O. there he spied a bonie lass 

The window looking thro' ! 

III. 

Sae light 's he jumped up the stair, 

And tirl'd at the pin ; 
And wha sae ready as herseP 

To let the laddie in \ 



IV. 

He set his Jenny on his knee. 
All in his Highland dress ; 

For brawlie weel he kend the way 
To please a bonie lass. 

V. 

It 's up yon heathery mountain 
And down yon scrogg>' glen, 



28o THE LASS O' ECCLEFECHAN. — FOR Tlir: SAKE O' SOMEBODY. 



We daurna gang a-milking 
For Charlie and his men ! 

Chorus, 

An' Charlie he 's my darling, 
My darhng, my darling, 
Charlie he 's my darling — 
The young Chevalier ! 



THE LASS O^ ECCLEFECHAN. 

[Burns, in the course of his " duty as 
supervisor," was accustomed to " visit this 
unfortunate wicked little village," and slept 
in it on Feb. 7, 1795 (R. B. to Thomson), 
about two months after the birth of Thomas 
Carlyle. It was long a favorite resort of 
such vagabonds as are pictured in " The 
Jolly Beggars," which may — or may not — 
account in some measure for Cariyle's affec- 
tion for that admirable piece.] 

I. 

' Gat ye me, O, gat ye me, 

Gat ye me wi' naething ? 
Rock an' reel, an' spinning wheel, 

A mickle quarter basin : 
Bye attour, my gutcher has 

A heich house and a laich ane, 
A' forbye my bonie sel, 

The toss o' Ecclefechan ! ^ 



II. 

^ O, haud your tongue now. Lucky 
Lang, 

O, haud your tongue and jauner ! 
I held the gate till you I met, 

Syne I began to wander : 
I tint my whistle and my sang, 

I tint my peace and pleasure ; 
But your green graft, now Lucky 
Lang, 

Wad airt me to my treasure.' 



the Bowster," which he states "is to be met 
with everywhere."] 

Chor7is. 

We'll hide the cooper behint the 

door, 
Behint the door, behint the door. 
We '11 hide the cooper behint the 

door. 
And cover him under a mawn, O. 



The Cooper o' Cuddy came here awa, 
I He ca'd the girrs out o'er us a', 
I An' our guidwife has gotten a ca\ 
That "s anger'd the silly guidman, O. 

II. 

He sought them out, he sought them 

in. 
Wi' 'Deil hae her!' an' ^Deil hae 

him ! ' 
But the body he was sae doited and 

blin'. 
He wist na where he was gaun, O. 

Ill, 

They coopefd at e'en, they cooper'd 

at morn, 
Till our guidman has gotten the 

scorn : 
On ilka brow she 's planted a horn. 
And swears that there they sail 

Stan", O ! 

Chorus. 

We'll hide the cooper behint the 

door, 
Behint the door, behint the door. 
We *11 hide the cooper behint the 

door 
And cover him under a mawn, O. 



THE COOPER O* CUDDY. 

[In the Ms. (Hastie Collection) Burns 
directs it to be sung to the tune, " Bab at 



FOR THE SAKE O" 
BODY. 



SOME- 



[It is evident that the idea of this charm- 
ing lyric came to Burns through Allan 



THE CARDIN O'T. — SAE FLAXEN WERE HER RINGLETS. 281 



Ramsay and 
lany."] 



The Tea-Table Miscel- 



I. 



My heart is sair — I dare na tell — 
My heart is sair for Somebody : 
I could wake a winter night 
For the sake o' Somebody. 
0-hon ! for Somebody ! 
0-hey ! for Somebody ! 
I could range the world around 
For the sake o' Somebody. 



II. 



Ye 



Powers that s'mile on virtuous 
love, 
O, sweetly smile on Somebody ! 
Frae ilka danger keep him free, 
And send me safe my Somebody ! 
0-hon ! for Somebody ! 
0-hey ! for Somebody ! 
I wad do — what wad I not ? — 
For the sake o' Somebody 



THE CARDIN O T. 

[Suggested, perhaps, by Alexander Ross's 

There was a wife had a wee pickle tow, 
And she wad gae try the spinning o 't."] 

Chorus. 

The cardin o H, the spinnin o \ 
The warpin o 't, the winnin o 't ! 
When ilka ell cost me a groat, 
The tailor staw the lynin o 't. 



I COFT a stane o^ haslock woo, 
To mak a wab to Johnie o % 

For Johnie is my only jo — 
I lo'e him best of onie yet ! 

II. 

For tho' his locks be lyart gray. 
And tho' his brow be held aboon, 

Yet I hae seen him on a day 
The pride of a' the parishen. 



Chorus. 

The cardin o H, the spinnin o \ 
The warpin o 't, the winnin o't ! 
When ilka ell cost me a groat, 
The tailor staw the lynin o 't. 



THERE'S THREE TRUE GUID 
FELLOWS. 

[The stanza following the chorus, says 
Stenhouse, was " hastily penned by Burns 
at the request of the publisher" (Johnson), 
to enable him to include it.] 



There 's three true guid fellows, 
There 's three true guid fellows, 
There 's three true guid fellows, 
Down ayont yon glen ! 

II. . 

It 's now the day is dawin, 
But or night do fa' in, 
Whase cock 's best at crawin, 
Willie, thou sail ken ! 



SAE FLAXEN WERIl HER 
RINGLETS. 

["Do you know, my dear sir, a black- 
guard Irish song called ' Oonagh's Water- 
fall ' ? . . . The air is charming, and I 
have often regretted the want of decent 
verses to it. It is too much, at least for my 
humble, rustic muse, to expect that every 
effort of hers must have merit; still I think 
that it is better to have mediocre verses to a 
favorite air, than none at all." (R. B.) 
The heroine was Miss Lorimer.] 



I. 

Sae flaxen were her ringlets, 
Her eyebrows of a darker hue. 

Bewitch ingly o'er-arching 

Twa laughing een o' bonie blue. 



282 



THE LASS THAT MADE THE BED. 



Her smiling, sae wyling. 

Wad make a wretch forget his woe : 
What pleasure, what treasure, 

Unto those rosy lips to grow ! 
Such was my Chloris' bonie face, 

When first that bonie face I saw, 
And ay my Chloris^ dearest charm — 

She says she lo'es me best of a' ! 



II. 

Like harmony her motion, 

Her pretty ankle is a spy 
Betraying fair proportion 

Wad make a saint forget the sky ! 
Sae warming, sae charming. 

Her faultless form and gracefu' air. 
Ilk feature — auld Nature 

Declared that she could dae nae 
mair ! 
Hers are the willing chains o^ love 

By conquering beauty's sovereign 
law, 
And ay my Chloris' dearest charm — 

She says she lo'es me best of a\ 



III. 



Let others love the city, 

And gaudy show at sunny noon ! 
Gie me the lonely valley. 

The dewy eve, and rising moon, 
Fair beaming, and streaming 

Her silver light the boughs amang. 
While falling, recalling, 

The amorous thrush concludes his 
sang ! 
There, dearest Chloris, wilt thou rove 

By wimpling burn and leafy shaw. 
And hear my vows o' truth and love, 

And say thou lo'es me best of a' ? 



THE LASS THAT MADE THE 
BED. 

[Composed on an amour of Charles 
II., when skulking in the North about 



Aberdeen in the time of the Common- 
wealth.] 

I. 

When Januar** wind was blawin cauld, 

As to the North I took my way, 
The mirksome night did me enfauld^ 

I knew na where to lodge till day. 
By my guid luck a maid I met 

Just in the middle o' my care, 
And kindly she did me invite 

To walk into a chamber fair. 



II. 

I bow'd fu' low unto this maid. 

And thank'd her for her courtesie ; 
I bow'd fu' low unto this maid, 

An' bade her mak a bed to me. 
She made the bed baith large and 
wide, 
Wi' twa white hands she spread it 
down, 
She put the cup to her rosy lips. 
And drank : — ' Young man, now 
sleep ye soun\' 



III. 

She snatch'd the candle in her hand. 

And frae my chamber went wi' 
speed. 
But I caird her quickly back again 

To lay some mair below my head : 
A cod she lay below my head. 

And served me with due respeck, 
And, to salute her wV a kiss, 

I put my arms about her neck. 



IV. 

^ Haud aflf your hands, young man,' 
she said, 

^ And dinna sae uncivil be ; 
Gif ye hae onie luve for me, 

O, wTang na my virginitie ! ' 
Her hair w^as like the links o' gowd. 

Her teeth were like the ivorie. 
Her cheeks like lilies dipt in wine. 

The lass that made the bed to me ! 



SAE FAR AWA. — I'LL AY CA' IN BY YON TOWN. 



283 



Her bosom was the driven snaw, 

Twa drifted heaps sae fair to see ; 
Her limbs the polished marble stane, 

The lass that made the bed to me ! 
I kissM her o^er and o'er again, 

And ay she wist na what to say, 
I laid her 'tween me an the wa' — 

The lassie thocht na lang till day. 



VI. 

Upon the morrow, when we raise, 
I thank'd her for her courtesie. 
But ay she blush'd, and ay she sigh'd, 
And said: — ^Alas, yeVe ruin'd 
me!' 
I clasp'd her waist, and kiss'd her 
syne. 
While the tear stood twinklin in 
her e'e. 
I said : — ' My lassie, dinna cry. 
For ye ay shall mak the bed to me.' 

VII. 

She took her mither's holland sheets, 

An' made them a' in sarks to me. 
Blythe and merry may she be. 

The lass that made the bed to me ! 
The bonie lass made the bed to me. 

The braw lass made the bed to me ! 
I '11 ne'er forget till the day I die. 

The lass that made the bed to me. 



SAE FAR AWA. 

[" Burns's name is attached to this pretty 
little song, which would seem to have been 
composed for the old air ' O'er the Hills, 
and Far Awa ' ; but as that tune had already 
been given in an early volume of the ' Mu- 
seum,' set to its well-known Anglo-Scottish 
verses, another air was found to fit the poet's 
words." — William Scott Douglas.] 



O, SAD and heavy should I part 
But for her sake sae far awa. 



Unknowing what my way 
thwart — 
My native land sae far awa. 



may 



II. 

Thou that of a' things Maker art, 
That formed this Fair sae far awa, 

Gie body strength, then I '11 ne'er start 
At this my way sae far awa ! 

III. 

How true is love to pure desert ! 

So mine in her sae far awa. 
And nocht can heal my bosom's smart, 

While, O, she is sae far awa ! 

IV. 

Nane other love, nane other dart 
I feel, but hers sae far awa ; 

But fairer never touched a heart. 
Than hers, the Fair sae far awa. 



THE REEL O' STUMPIE. 

[" The exact share of Burns in this song 
is not now to be determined."] 



Wap and rowe, wap and rowe, 
Wap and rowe the feetie o 't ; 

I thought I was a maiden fair, 
Till I heard the greetie o 't ! 

II. 

My daddie was a fiddler fine, 
My minnie she made mantie, O, 

And I myself a thumpin quine. 

And danc'd the Reel o' Stumpie, O. 



I'LL AY CA' IN BY YON 
TOWN. 

[Adapted by Burns from an old song.] 
Chorus. 

I '11 ay ca' in by yon town 

And by yon garden green again ! 



284 



O, WAT YE WHA'S IN YON TOWN. 



I '11 ay ca' in by yon town. 

And see my bonie Jean again. 



There 's nane shall ken, there 's nane 
can guess 

What brings me back the gate again, 
But she, my fairest faith fu' lass, 

And stow'nlins we sail meet ao:ain. 



II. 

She '11 wander by the aiken tree, 

When trystin time draws near again; 
And when her lovely form I see, 

haith ! she 's doubly dear again. 

Chorus. 

1 '11 ay ca' in by yon town 

And by yon garden green again ! 
I '11 ay ca' in by yon town. 

And see my bonie Jean again. 



O, 



WAT YE WHA'S 
TOWN. 



IN YON 



[Begun at Ecclefechan, where Burns was 
storm-stayed, Feb. 7, 1795. Some time 
afterwards Burns produced a complete 
copy, at Brechin Castle. In the set sent to 
Johnson, Jeanie — either Jean Armour or 
Jean Lorimer — is the heroine. In that 
sent to Thomson the name is Lucy, who 
was the wife of Mr. Richard Oswald.] 

Chorus. 

O, wat ye wha 's in yon town 
Ye see the e'enin sun upon ? 

The dearest maid 's in yon town 
That e'enin sun is shining on ! 

I. 

Now haply dowai yon gay green shaw 
She wanders by yon spreading tree. 

How blest ye flowers that round her 
blaw ! 
Ye catch the glances o' her e'e. 



II 



How blest ye birds that round her sing, 
And welcome in the blooming year ! 

And doubly welcome be the Spring, 
The season to my Jeanie dear ! 



III. 



The sun blinks blythe in yon town, 
Among the broomy braes sae green ; 

But my delight in yon town. 

And dearest pleasure, is my Jean. 



IV. 



Without my Love, not a' the charms 
O' Paradise could yield me joy ; 

But gie me Jeanie in my arms, 
And welcome Lapland's dreary sky ! 



V. 



My cave wad be a lover's bower, 
Tho' raging Winter rent the air, 

And she a lovely little flower. 

That I wad tent and shelter there. 



VI. 



O, sweet is she in yon town 

The sinkin sun 's gane down upon ! 
A fairer than 's in yon town 

His setting beam ne'er shone upon. 



VII. 



If angry Fate be sworn my foe, 

And suff Ying I am doom'd to bear, 
I *d careless quit aught else below, 



But spare, 
dear ! 



O, spare me Jeanie 



VIII. 

For, while life's dearest blood is 
warm, 
Ae thought frae her shall ne'er 
depart. 
And she, as fairest is her form, 
She has the truest, kindest heart. 



WHEREFORE SIGHING ART THOU? — HIGHLAND LADDIE. 285 



Chorus. 

O, wat ye wha 's in yon town 
Ye see the e'enin sun upon ? 

The dearest maid 's in yon town 
That e'enin sun is shining on. 



WHEREFORE SIGHING ART 
THOU, PHILLIS ? 

[Suggested, probably, by an old English 
song beginning : 

'• Do not ask me, charming Phillis."] 

I. 

Wherefore sighing art thou, Phillis ? 

Has thy prime unheeded past? 
Hast thou found that beauty's lilies 

Were not made for ay to last? 

II. 

Know, thy form was once a treasure — 
Then it was thy hour of scorn ! 

Since thou then denied the pleasure. 
Now 'tis fit that thou should'st 
mourn. 



O MAY, THY MORN. 

[Supposed to commemorate the parting 
with Clarinda.] 

I. 

O May, thy morn was ne'er sae sweet 
As the mirk night o' December ! 

For sparkling was the rosy wine, 
And private was the chamber, 

And dear was she I dare na name, 
But I will ay remember. 

II. 

And here 's to them that, like oursel, 
Can push about the jorum ! 

And here's to them that wish us 
weel — 
May a' that 's guid watch o'er 'em ! 



And here 's to them we dare na tell, 
The dearest o' the quorum ! 



AS I CAME O'ER THE CAIR- 
NEY MOUNT. 

[Probably suggested by old Jacobite 
ballads, " Highland Laddie," etc.] 

Chorus. 

O, my bonie Highland lad ! 

My winsome, weel-faur'd Highland 
laddie ! 
Wha wad mind the wind and rain 

Sae weel row'd in his tartan plaidie ! 



As I came o'er the Cairney mount 
And down among the blooming 
heather. 

Kindly stood the milking-shiel 

To shelter frae the stormy weather. 

II. 

Now Phoebus blinkit on the bent. 
And o'er the knowes the lambs 
were bleating ; 

But he wan my heart's consent 
To be his ain at the neist meeting. 

Chorus. 

O, my bonie Highland lad ! 

My winsome, weel-faur'd Highland 
laddie ! 
Wha wad mind the wind and rain 

Sae weel row'd in his tartan plaidie ! 



HIGHLAND LADDIE. 

[Chieflv an abridgment of the Jacobite 
ditty, "The Highland Lad and the High- 
land Lass."] 



The bonniest lad that e'er I saw - 
Bonie laddie. Highland laddie 1 



286 WILT THOU BE MY DEARIE? — LOVELY POLLY STEWART. 



Wore a plaid and was fu' braw — 
Bonie Highland laddie ! 

On his head a bonnet blue — 
Bonie laddie, Highland laddie ! 

His royal heart was firm and true — 
Bonie Highland laddie ! 



II. 

* Trumpets sound and cannons roar, 

Bonie lassie, Lawland lassie ! — 
And a' the hills wi^ echoes roar, 

Bonie Lawland lassie ! 
Glory, Honour, now invite — 

Bonie lassie, Lawland lassie ! — 
For freedom and my King to fight, 
Bonie Lawland lassie ! ' 



III. 

*The sun a backward course shall 
take, 
Bonie laddie. Highland laddie ! 
Ere aught thy manly courage shake, 

Bonie Highland laddie ! 
Go, for yourseP procure renown, 
Bonie laddie, Highland laddie. 
And for your lawful King his crown, 
Bonie Highland laddie ! ' 



WILT THOU BE MY DEARIE ? 

[Evidently made in honor of Miss Janet 
Miller of Dalswinton.] 



Wilt thou be my dearie ? 
When Sorrow wrings thy gentle 
heart, 

O, wilt thou let me cheer thee ? 
By the treasure of my soul — 

That 's the love I bear thee — 
I swear and vow that only thou 

Shall ever be my dearie ! 
Only thou, I swear and vow, 

Shall ever be my dearie ! 



II. 

Lassie, say thou lo'es me, 
Or, if thou wilt na be my ain. 

Say na thou 'It refuse me ! 
If it winna, canna be, 

Thou for thine may choose me. 
Let me, lassie, quickly die. 

Trusting that thou lo'es me ! 
Lassie, let me quickly die. 

Trusting that thou lo'es me ! 



LOVELY POLLY STEWART. 

[Polly or Mary Stewart was daughter 
of William Stewart, factor at Closebiirn. 
She died in Italy at the age of seventy- 
two.] 

Chorus, 

O lovely Polly Stewart, 
O charming Polly Stewart, 
There 's ne'er a flower that blooms in 
May, 
That 's half so fair as thou art ! 



The flower it blaws, it fades, it fa's. 
And art can ne'er renew it ; 

But Worth and Truth eternal youth 
Will gie to Polly Stewart ! 



II. 

May he whase arms shall fauld thy 
charms 

Possess a leal and true heart ! 
To him be given to ken the heaven 

He grasps in Polly Stewart ! 

Chorus. . 

O lovely Polly Stewart, 
O charming Polly Stewart, 
There 's ne'er a flower that blooms in 
May, 
That 's half so fair as thou art ! 



THE HIGHLAND BALOU. — WAE IS MY HEART. 



287 



THE HIGHLAND BALOU. 

[Stenhouse states that it is "a versifica- 
tion by Burns of a Gaelic nursery song, the 
literal import of which, as well as the air, 
were communicated to him by a Highland 
lady."] 



Hee balou, my sweet wee Donald, 
Picture o' the great Clanronald ! 
Brawlie kens our wanton Chief 
Wha gat my young Highland thief. 



II. 

Leeze me on thy bonie craigie ! 
An thou live, thou '11 steal a naigie, 
Travel the country thro' and thro', 
And brinor hame a Carlisle cow ! 



III. 

Thro' the Lawlands, o'er the Border, 
Weel, my babie, may thou furder, 
Herry the louns o' the laigh Coun- 

trie, 
Syne to the Highlands hame to me ! 



BANNOCKS O' BEAR MEAL. 

[No doubt suggested by a song on the 
Duke of Argyll (the great Duke, born 1678, 
died 1743), entitled, "The Highlandman 
Speaking of His Maggy and the Bannocks 
of Barley Meal."] 

Chorus, 

Bannocks o' bear meal, 

Bannocks o" barley. 
Here 's to the Highlandman's 

Bannocks o' barley ! 



Wha in a brulyie 

Will first cry ' a parley ' ? 
Never the lads 

Wi' the bannocks o' barley 



II. 

Wha. in his wae days, 
Were loyal to Charlie ? 

Wha but the lads 

Wi' the bannocks o' barley ! 

Chorus. 

Bannocks o' bear meal, 
Bannocks o' barley, 

Here 's to the Highlandman's 
Bannocks o' barley ! 



WAE IS MY HEART. 

[The last stanza is closely imitated from 
the last of Lady Grizzel Bailie's " Were Na 
My Heart Licht I Wad Die."] 



I. 

Wae is my heart, and the tear's in 

my e'e ; 
Lang, lang joy's been a stranger 

to me : 
Forsaken and friendless my burden 

I bear. 
And the sweet voice o' pity ne'er 

sounds in my ear. 

II. 

Love, thou hast pleasures — and deep 

hae I lov'd ! 
Love, thou has sorrows — and sair hae 

I prov'd ! 
But this bruised heart that now bleeds 

in my breast, 
I can feel by its throbbings, will soon 

be at rest. 

III. 

O. if I were where happy I hae been, 
Down by yon stream and yon bonie 

castle green ! 
For there he is wand'ring and musing 

on me, 
Wha wad soon dry the tear frae his 

PhiUis' e'e ! 



288 



THERE GROWS A BONIE BRIER-BUSH. 



HERE'S 



HIS HEALTH 
WATER. 



IN 



[Framed on a Jacobite song for James 
VIII. (the "Old Pretender").] 

I. 

Altho' my back be at the wa\ 

And tho' he be the fautor, 
Altho' my back be at the wa', 

Yet here 's his health in water ! 
O, wae gae by his wanton sides, 

Sae brawly 's he could flatter ! 
Till for his sake I 'm slighted sair 

And dree the kintra clatter ! 
But, tho' my back be at the wa'. 

Yet here 's his health in water ! 



THE WINTER OF LIFE. 

[Doubtless suggested by a song of the 
same title to be found in '* The Goldfinch," 
Edinburgh, 1777.] 



laughing 



But lately seen in gladsome green, 

The woods rejoiced the day ; 
Thro' gentle showers the 
flowers 

In double pride were gay ; 
But now our joys are fled 

On winter blasts awa, 
Yet maiden May in rich array 

Again shall bring them a'. 



II. 



But my white pow — nae kindly thowe 

Shall melt the snaws of Age ! 
My trunk of eild, but buss and bield, 

Sinks in Time's wintry rage. 
O, Age has weary days 

And nights o' sleepless pain ! 
Thou golden time o' youthfu' prime> 

Why comes thou not again ? 



THE TAILOR. 

[Suggested probably by " The Tailor" in 
Herd's Collection.] 



The tailor he cam here to sew. 
And weel he kend the way to woo, 
For ay he pree'd the lassie's mou', 
As he gaed but and ben, O. 
For weel he kend the way, O, 
The way, O, the way, O ! 
For weel he kend the way, O, 
The lassie's heart to win, O ! 

II. 

The tailor rase and shook his duds. 
The flaes they flew awa in cluds ! 
And them that stay'd gat fearfu' 
thuds — 
The Tailor prov'd a man, O ! 
For now it was the gloamin, 
The gloamin, the gloamin ! 
For now it was the gloamin, 
When a' the rest are gaur/, O ! 



THERE GROWS A BONIE 
BRIER-BUSH. 

[Stenhouse states, that " with the excep- 
tion of a few lines, which are old," this 
song was written by Burns for Johnson's 
" Museum."] 

I, 

There grows a bonie brier-bush in 

our kail-yard, 
There grows a bonie brier-bush in 

our kail-yard ; 
And below the bonie brier-bush 

there 's a lassie and a lad. 
And they 're busy, busy courting in 

our kail-yard. 

II. 

We '11 court nae mair below the buss 
in our kail-yard, 



IT WAS A' FOR OUR RIGHTFU' KING. 



289 



We '11 court nae mair below the buss 

in our kail-yard : 
We'll awa to 'Athole's green^ and 

there we *11 no be seen, 
Where the trees and the branches will 

be our safeguard. 

III. 

Will ye go to the dancin in Carlyle's 

ha'? 
W^ill ye go to the dancin in Carlyle's 

ha', 
Where Sandy and Nancy I 'm sure 

will ding them a' ? 
I winna gang to the dance in Carlyle- 

haM 

IV. 

What will I do for a lad when Sandie 

gangs awa ! 
What will I do for a lad when Sandie 

gangs awa ! 
I will awa to Edinburgh, and win a 

pennie fee, 
And see an onie lad will fancy me. 



He's comin frae the north that's to 

marry me, 
He's comin frae the north that's to 

marry me, 
A feather' in his bonnet and a ribbon 

at his knee — 
He 's a bonie, bonie laddie, an yon 

be he ! 



HERE'S TO THY HEALTH. 

[Regarded as traditional by Mrs. Begg 
(Burns's sister) . Mr. Scott Douglas accepts 
it as a genuine contribution to Johnson's 
" Museum," and internal evidence is in his 
favor.] 

I. 

Here 's to thy health my bonie lass ! 

Quid night and joy be wi' thee ! 
I "11 come nae mair to thy bower-door 

To tell thee that I lo'e thee : 

u 



O, dinna think, my pretty pink. 
But I can live without thee : 

I vow and swear I dinna care 
How lang ye look about ye ! 

Thou 'rt ay sae free informing me 

Thou hast nae mind to marry, 
I '11 be as free informing thee 

Nae time hae I to tarry. 
I ken thy freens try ilka means 

Frae wedlock to delay thee 
(Depending on some higher chance), 

But fortune may betray thee. 

III. 

I ken they scorn my low estate. 

But that does never grieve me, 
For I 'm as free as any he — 

Sma' siller will relieve me ! 
I *11 count my health my greatest wealth 

Sae lang as 1 11 enjoy it. 
I '11 fear nae scant, I '11 bode nae want 

As lang's I get employment. 

IV. 

But far off fowls hae feathers fair, 

xAnd, ay until ye try them, 
Tho' they seem fair, still have a care — 

They may prove as bad as I am ! 
But at twel at night, when the moon 
shines bright. 

My dear, I '11 come and see thee, 
For the man that loves his mistress 
we el, 

Nae travel makes him weary. 



IT WAS A' FOR OUR RIGHT- 
FU' KING. 

[" The third verse of this beautiful song 
is found in a stall-ballad (Mally Stewart K 
but the date of the ballad is not ascertained." 
— ANDREW Lang.] 

I. 

It was a for our rightfu' king 
We left fair Scotland's strand ; 



290 



THE HIGHLAND WIDOW'S LAMENT. 



It was a^ for our rightfu' king, 
We e'er saw Irish land. 
My dear — 
We e'er saw Irish land. 

II. 

Now a' is done that men can do, 

And 3/ is done in vain. 
My Love and Native Land fareweel, 

For I maun cross the main, 
My dear — 

For I maun cross the main. 

III. 

He turn'd him right and round about 

Upon the Irish shore. 
And gae his bridle reins a shake. 

With adieu for evermore, 
My dear — 

And adieu for evermore ! 

IV. 

The soger frae the wars returns, 

The sailor frae the main. 
But I hae parted frae my love 

Never to meet again. 
My dear — 

Never to meet again. 

V. 

When day is gane, and night is come, 
And a' folk bound to sleep, 

I think on him that 's far awa 
The lee-lang night, and weep, 

My dear — 
The lee-lang night and weep. 



THE HIGHLAND WIDOW'S 
LAMENT. 

[Burns supplied the music for Johnson's 
" Museum," which he got from a lady in the 
north of Scotland. The refrain is borrowed 
from an old song, said to have been a 
lament for Glencoe.] 

I. 

O, I AM come to the low^ countrie — 
Ochon, ochon, ochrie ! — 



Without a penny in my purse 
To buy a meal to me. 



II. 



It was na sae in the Highland hills 
Ochon, ochon, ochrie ! — 

Nae woman in the country wide 
Sae happy was as me. 



III. 

For then I had a score o' kye — 
Ochon, ochon, ochrie ! — 

Feeding on yon hill sae high 
And giving milk to me. 

IV. 

And there I had three score o' yowes 
Ochon, ochon, ochrie ! — 

Skipping on yon bonie knowes 
And casting woo' to me. 



V. 

I was the happiest of a' the clan — 

Sair, sair may I repine ! — 
For Donald was the brawest man, 
And Donald he was mine. 



VI. 

Till Charlie Stewart cam at last 

Sae far to set us free : 
My Donald's arm was wanted then 

For Scotland and for me. 

VII. 

Their waefu' fate what need I tell? 

Right to the wrang did yield : 
My Donald and his country fell 

Upon Culloden field. 

VIII. 

Ochon ! O Donald, O ! 

Ochon, ochon, ochrie ! 
Nae woman in the warld wide 

Sae wretched now as me ! 



THOU GLOOMY DECEMBER. — O, STEER HER UP. 



291 



THOU GLOOMY DECEMBER. 

[The first two stanzas were sent to Cla- 
rinda on Dec. 27, 1791, as a song to " a 
charming plaintive Scots tune."] 



I. 

AxcE mair I hail thee, thou gloomy 
December ! 
Ance mair I hail thee wi' sorrow 
and care ! 
Sad was the parting thou makes me 
remember : 
Parting wi' Nancy, O, ne'er to meet 
mair ! 



n. 



Fond lovers* parting is sweet, painful 
pleasure. 
Hope beaming mild on the soft 
parting hour : 
But the dire feeling, O farewell for 
ever I 
Anguish unmingled and agony 
pure ! 



in. 



teanng 



the 



Wild as the winter now 
forest. 

Till the last leaf o' the summer is 
flown — 
Such is the tempest has shaken my 
bosom. 
Till my last hope and last comfort 
is gone ! 



IV. 



Still as I hail thee, thou gloomy 
December, 
Still shall I hail thee wi' soitow and 
care : 
For sad was the parting thou makes 
me remember : 
Parting wi' Nancy, O, ne'er to meet 
mair I 



MY PEGGY'S FACE, 
PEGGY'S FORM. 



MY 



[" Written for Miss Margaret Chalmers. 
Both she and Miss Hamilton were probably 
ft-iends rather than ' flames ' of Burns." -^ 
Andrew^ Lang.] 



My Pegg}-'s face, my Peggy's form 
The frost of hermit Ao:e mi2:ht warm. 
My Peggy's worth, my Peggy's mind 
Might charm the first of human kind. 



II. 

I love my Peggy's angel air. 
Her face so truly heavenly fair. 
Her native grace so void of art 
But I adore my Peggy's heart. 



III. 

The lily's hue. the rose's dye. 
The kindling lustre of an eye — 
\Vho but owns their magic sway? 
Who but knows they all decay? 



The tender thrill, the pitying tear, 
The generous purpose nobly dear. 
The gentle look that rage disarms ■ 
These are all immortal charms. 



O, STEER HER UP, AN' HAUD 
HER GAUN. 

[Written for Johnson's " Museum " by 
Burns. The first half stanza is Ramsay's, 
from a set founded on an old improper 
ditty.] 

I. 

O. STEER her up. an' hand her gaun — 
Her mither 's at the mill. jo. 

An' gin she winna tak a man. 
E'en let her tak her will, jo. 



292 



WEE WILLIE GRAY. — WE'RE A' NODDIN. 



First shore her wi^ a gentle kiss, 

And ca' anither gill, jo, 
An' gin she tak the thing amiss, 

E'en let her flyte her fill, jo. 

II. 

O, steer her up, an' be na blate. 

An' gin she tak it ill, jo, 
Then leave the lassie till her fate, 

And time nae langer spill, jo ! 
Ne'er break your heart for ae rebute, 

But think upon it still, jo. 
That gin the lassie winna do \ 

Ye '11 fin' anither will, jo. 



WEE WILLIE GRAY. 

[" A child's song, with an appearance of 
popular antiquity." — Andrew Lang.] 

I. 

Wee Willie Gray an' his leather 

wallet. 
Peel a willow-wand to be him boots 

and jacket ! 
The rose upon the brier will be him 

trouse and doublet — 
The rose upon the brier will be him 

trouse and doublet ! 



II. 
Wee Willie Gray and his leather wal- 

Twice a lily-flower will be him sark 

and gravat ! 
Feathers of a flie wad feather up his 

bonnet — 
Feathers of a flie wad feather up his 

bonnet ! 



WE'RE A' NODDIN. 

[This ditty is a medley of two old songs 
with variations and amendments.] 

C/iorus, 

We 're a' noddin, 
Nid nid noddin, 



We 're a' noddin 

At our house at hame .' 



^GuiD e'en to you, kimmer, 
And how do ye do? ' 

' Hiccup ! ' quo' kimmer, 
' The better that I 'm fou ! 



II. 

Kate sits i' the neuk, 

Suppin hen-broo. 
Deil tak Kate 

An she be na noddin too ! 

III. 

' How 's a' wi' you, kimmer ? 

And how do you fare ? ' 
^ A pint o' the best o 't. 

And twa pints mair ! ' 

IV. 

' How 's a' wi' you, kimmer ? 

And how do ye thrive ? 
How monie bairns hae ye ? ' 

Quo' kimmer, ' I hae five.' 



* Are they a' Johnie's ? ' 

' Eh ! atweel na : 
Twa o' them were gotten 

When Johnie was awa ! ' 

VI. 

Cats like milk. 

And dogs like broo ; 
Lads like lasses weel. 

And lasses lads too. 

Chortis. 

We 're a' noddin, 
Nid nid noddin. 
We 're a' noddin 
At our house at hame ! 



O, AY MY ^VIFE SHE D.\XG ME. — O, GUID ALE COMES. 



293 



O, AY MY 



WIFE 
ME. 



SHE DANG 



[^Vritten for Johnson's " Museum" to a 
tune in Oswald's collection, " My Wife She 
Dang Me."J 



Char US. 



O. 

An 



av mv wife she dang me. 



aft my wife she bang'd me ! 
If ye gie a woman a' her will. 
Guid faith ! she '11 soon o'er-gang ye. 



I. 

Ox peace an* rest my mind was bent^ 
And, fool I was ! I married ; 

But never honest man's intent 
Sae cursedly miscarried. 



II. 

Some sairie comfort at the last. 

When a' thir days are done, man 
My ' pains o^ hell * on earth is past, 

I *m sure o^ bliss aboon, man. 



Chorus^ 

O, ay my wife she dang me. 
An' aft my wife she bang'd me ! 
If ye gie a woman a' her will. 
Guid faith ! she *11 soon o'ergang ye. 



SCROGGAM. 

[Founded on an older ditty, or perhaps 
gathered from more than one.] 



There was a wife wonn'd in Cockpen, 

Scroggam ! 
She brew'd guid ale for gentlemen : 
Sing Auld Cowl, lay you down by 

me — 
Scro2:gam. mv dearie, rultum ! 



II. 

The guidwife's dochter fell in a fever, 

Scroggam ! 
The priest o' the parish fell in anither : 
Sing Auld Cowl, lay you down by me — 
Scroggam, my dearie, ruffum ! ' 



III. 

Thev laid the twa i* the bed theo:ither, 

Scroggam ! 
That the heat o' the tane might cool 

the tither : 
Sing Auld Cowl, lay you down by me — 
Scroggam, my dearie, ruffum ! 



O. GUID ALE COMES. 

[Partly traditional. Stenhouse states that 
only the chorus is old.] 



Chonis. 

O. guid ale comes, and guid ale goes, 
Guid ale sfars me sell mv hose. 
Sell my hose, and pawn my shoon - 
Guid ale keeps my heart aboon ! 



I. 

I HAD sax owsen in a pleugh, 
And they drew a' weel eneugh : 
I seird them a* just ane by ane — 
Guid ale keeps the heart aboon ! 



II. 

Guid ale hands me bare and busy. 
Gars me moop wi' the servant hizzie. 
Stand i' the stool when I hae dune — 
Guid ale keeps the heart aboon ! 

Chorus. 

O, guid ale comes, and guid ale goes, 
Guid ale gars me sell my hose. 
Sell my hose, and pawn my shoon — 
Guid ale keeps my heart aboon ! 



294 



DOES HAUGHTY GAUL INVASION THREAT? 



ROBIN SHURE IN HAIRST. 

[Sent by Burns to Robert Ainslie with 
the remark : " I have brushed up the follow- 
ing old favorite song a little, with a view to 
your worship. I have only altered a word 
here and there ; but if you like the humor 
of it, we shall think of a stanza or two to 
add to it."] 

Chorus. 

Robin shure in hairst, 

I shure \vi' him : 
Fient a heuk had I, 

Yet I stack bv him. 



I GAED up to Dunse 

To warp a wab o' plaiden 

At his daddie's yett 

Wha met me but Robin ! 

II. 

Was na Robin bauld, 

Tho' I was a cottar? 
Play'd me sic a trick. 

An' me the Eller's dochter ! 

III. 

Robin promis'd me 

A' my winter vittle : 
Fient haet he had but three 

Guse feathers and a whittle ! 

Chorus. 

Robin shure in hairst, 

I shure wi' him : 
Fient a heuk had I, 

Yet I stack by him. 



DOES HAUGHTY GAUL IN- 
VASION THREAT ? 

["Written for the Duliifries Volunteers. 
Burns, if sincere, changed his mind about 



the Revolution, like Coleridge and Words* 
worth." — Andrew Lang.] 



Does haughty Gaul invasion threat ? 

Then let the loons beware, Sir ! 
There 's wooden walls upon our seas 

And volunteers on shore. Sir ! 
The Nith shall run to Corsincon, 

And Criffel sink in Sol way, 
Ere we permit a foreign foe 

On British ground to rally ! 



II. 



O, let us not, like snarling tykes, 

In wrangling be divided, 
Till, slap ! come in an unco loun, 

And wi* a mng decide it ! 
Be Britain still to Britain true, 

Amang oursels united ! 
For never but by British hands 

Maun British wrangs be righted ! 



III. 

The kettle o^ the Kirk and State, 

Perhaps a clout may fail in 't ; 
But Deil a foreign tinkler loon 

Shall ever ca' a nail in 't ! 
Our fathers' blude the kettle bought, 

And wha wad dare to spoil it. 
By Heav'ns ! the sacrilegious dog 

Shall fuel be to boil it ! 



IV. 

The wretch that would a tyrant own, 

And the wretch, his true-sworn 
brother. 
Who would set the mob above the 
throne, 

May they be damn'd together ! 
Who will not sing God save the King 

Shall hang as high 's the steeple ; 
But while we sing God save the Ki)ig^ 

We *11 ne'er forget the People ! 



O ONCE I LOV'D. — MY LORD A-HUNTING. 



295 



O ONCE I LOV'D A BONIE 
LASS. 

[Of this song Burns says : " The following 
composition was the first of my perform- 
ances and done at an early period of life, 
when my heart glowed with honest warm 
simplicity ; unacquainted and uncorrupted 
with the ways of a wicked world. . . . The 
subject of it was a young girl, who really 
deserved all the praises I have bestowed 
upon her.] 



O ONCE I lov'd a bonie lass, 
Ay, and I love her still ! 

And whilst that virtue warms 
breast, 
1 11 love my handsome Nell. 



my 



II. 



As bonie lasses I hae seen, 
And monie full as braw, 

But for a modest gracefu' mien 
The like I never saw. 



III. 



A bonie lass, I will confess, 

Is pleasant to the e'e ; 
But without some better qualities 

She 's no a lass for me. 



IV. 



But Nelly's looks are blythe and sweet. 

And, what is best of a'. 
Her reputation is complete 

And fair without a flaw. 



V. 



She dresses ay sae clean and neat, 

Both decent and genteel ; 
And then there 's somethinof in her 



gait 



Gars onie dress look weel. 

VI. 

A gaudy dress and gentle air 
May slightly touch the heart ; 



But it 's innocence and modesty 
That polishes the dart. 



VII. 



T is this in Nelly pleases me, 
'T is this enchants my soul ; 

For absolutely in my breast 
She reigns without controul. 



MY LORD A-HUNTING. 

[Stenhouse says : "Johnson long hesitated 
to admit this song into his work ; but being 
blamed for such fastidiousness, he at length 
gave it a place there."] 

Chorus. 

My lady's gown, there 's gairs upon "t, 
And gowden flowers sae rare upon 't ; 
But Jenny's jimps and jirkinet, 
My lord thinks meikle mair upon -t ! 



My lord a-hunting he is gane. 
But hounds or hawks wi' him are nane ; 
By Colin's cottage lies his game. 
If Colin's Jenny be at hame. 

II. 

My lady 's white, my lady 's red, 
And kith and kin o' Cassillis' blude ; 
But her ten-pund lands o' tocher guid 
Were a' the charms his lordship lo'ed. 

III. 

Out o'er yon muir, out o'er yon moss, 
Whare gor-cocks thro' the heather 

pass, 
There wons auld Colin's bonie lass, 
A lily in a wilderness. 

IV. 

Sae sweetly move her genty limbs, 
Like music notes o' lovers' hymns ! 
The diamond-dew in her een sae blue, 
Where laughing love sae wanton 
swims ! 



296 SWEETEST MAY. — JOCKIE'S TA'EN THE PARTING KISS. 



My lady 's dink, my lady 's drest, 
The flower and fancy o^ the west ; 
But the lassie that a man lo'es best, 
O, that 's the lass to mak him blest ! 



Chorus, 

My lady's gown, there 's gairs upon 't. 
And gowden flowers sae rare upon 't, 
But Jenny's jimps and jirkinet, 
My lord thinks meikle mair upon 't ! 



SWEETEST MAY. 

[An imitation, open and unabashed, of 
Ramsay's "My Sweetest May, let Love 
incline Thee."] 



I. 

Sweetest May, let Love inspire thee ! 
Take a heart which he designs thee : 
As thy constant slave regard it. 
For its faith and truth reward it. 



II. 

Proof o' shot to birth or money, 
Not the wealthy but the bonie, 
Not the high-born but noble-minded, 
In love's silken band can bind it. 



MEG O' THE MILL. 

[Suggested, doubtless, by an older ditty.] 



O, KEN ye what Meg o' the Mill has 

gotten? 
An' ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has 

gotten? 
A braw new naig wi' the tail o' a rottan, 
And that ^s what Meg o' the Mill has 

gotten ! 



II. 

O, ken ye what Meg o' the Mill lo'es 

dearly ? 
An' ken ye w^hat Meg o' the Mill lo'es 

dearly ? 
A dram o' guid strunt in a morning 

early, 
And that 's what Meg o' the Mill lo'es 



dearly ! 



III. 



O, ken ye how Meg o" the Mill was 

married ? 
An' ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was 

married ? 
The priest he was oxterd, the dark 

he was carried, 
And tliat 's how Meg o' the Mill was 

married ! 

IV. 

O, ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was 

bedded? 
An' ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was 

bedded? 
The groom gat sae fu' he fell awald 

beside it, 
And that 's how Meg o' the Mill was 

bedded ! 



JOCKIE'S TA'EN THE PART- 
ING KISS. 

["Probably written in sickness." — AN- 
DREW Lang.] 



JocKiE 's ta'en the parting kiss, 
O'er the mountains he is gane. 

And with him is a' my bliss — 
Nought but griefs with me remain. 

II. 

Spare my luve, ye winds that blaw, 
Plashy sleets and beating rain ! 

Spare my luve, thou feathery snaw, 
Drifting o'er the frozen plain ! 



O, LAY THY LOOF IN MINE. —THERE WAS A BONIE LASS. 297 



III. 



When the shades of evening creep 
O'er the day's fair gladsome e'e, 

Sound and safely may he sleep, 
Sweetly blythe his waukening be ! 



IV. 



He will think on her he loves, 
Fondly he '11 repeat her name ; 

For where'er he distant roves, 
Jockie's heart is still at hame. 



O, LAY THY LOOF IN MINE, 
LASS. 

[" Perhaps Miss Lewars is the heroine." 

— Andrew Lang.] 

Chortis. 

O, lay thy loof in mine, lass, 
In mine, lass, in mine, lass, 
And swear on thy white hand, lass. 
That thou wilt be my ain ! 



A SLAVE to Love's unbounded sway 
He aft has wrought me meikle wae ; 
But now he is my deadly fae, 
Unless thou be my ain. 



n. 

There 's monie a lass has broke my 

rest. 
That for a blink I hae lo'ed best ; 
But thou art queen wuthin my breast, 
For ever to remain. 



Chorus, 

O, lay thy loof in mine, lass. 
In mine, lass, in mine, lass. 
And swear on thy white hand, lass, 
That thou wilt be mv ain ! 



CAULD IS THE E'ENIN 
BLAST. 

[The tune, " Peggy Ramsay," is as old as 
Shakespeare's time. Sir Toby Belch in 
" Twelfth Night " says " Malvolio's a Peg-a- 
Ramsay."] 

I. 

Cauld is the e'enin blast 

O' Boreas o'er the pool. 
An' dawin, it is dreary, 

When birks are bare at Yule. 



II. 

O. cauld blaws the e^enin blast, 
When bitter bites the frost. 

And in the mirk and dreary drift 
The hills and glens are lost ! 

III. 

Ne'er sae murky blew the night 
That drifted o'er the hill, 

But bonie Peg-a-Ramsay 
Gat grist to her mill. 



THERE WAS A BONIE LASS. 

[A cento of old catchwords.] 

I. 

There w^as a bonie lass, and a bonie, 
bonie lass. 
And she loed her bonie laddie dear, 
Till War's loud alarms tore her laddie 
frae her arms 
Wi' monie a sigh and a tear. 

II. 

Over sea, over shore, where the can- 
nons loudly roar. 
He still was a stranger to fear. 
And nocht could him quail, or his 
bosom assail. 
But the bonie lass he loed sae dear. 



298 THERE'S NEWS, LASSES. — MALLY 'S iMEEK, MALLY 'S SWEET. 



THERE'S NEWS, LASSES, 
NEWS. . 

[Written for Johnson's " Museum." The 
original is evidently a fragment in the Herd 
Ms.] 

Chorus, 

The wean wants a cradle. 
And the cradle wants a cod, 

An' I '11 no gang to my bed 
Until I get a nod. 



I. 

There 's news, lasses, news, 

Guid news I 've to tell ! 
There 's a boatfu' o' lads 

Come to our town to sell ! 

n- 
* Father,' quo' she, ^ Mither,' quo' she, 

' Do what you can : 
I '11 no gang to my bed 

Until I get a man ! ' 

III. 
I hae as guid a craft rig 

As made o' yird and stane ; 
And waly fa' the ley-crap 

For I maun till'd again. 

Chorus. 
The wean wants a cradle, 

And the cradle wants a cod, 
An' I '11 no gang to my bed 

Until I get a nod. 



O, THAT I HAD NE'ER BEEN 
MARRIED. 

[Burns quotes all that is old of this song 
in a letter to Mrs. Dunlop, 1795. His quota- 
tion includes stanza I. and the chorus.] 

Chorus. 

Ance crowdie, twice crowdie. 
Three times crowdie in a day! 



Gin ye crowdie onie mair. 

Ye 11 crowdie a' my meal away. 



O, THAT I had ne'er been married, 
I wad never had nae care ! 

Now I 've gotten wife an' bairns, 
An' they cry ^ Crowdie ' evermair. 

II. 

Waefu' Want and Hunger fiey me, 
Glowrin by the hallan en' ; 

Sair I fecht them at the door, 
But ay I 'm eerie they come ben. 

Chorus. 

Ance crowdie, twice crowdie. 
Three times crowdie in a day ! 

Gin ye crowdie onie mair. 

Ye '11 crowdie a' my meal away. 



MALLY 'S MEEK, MALLY 'S 
SWEET. 

[Written for Johnson's " Museum."] 

Chortis, 

Mally 's meek, Mally 's sweet, 
Mally 's modest and discreet, 
Mally 's rare, Mally 's fair, 
Mally 's ev'ry way complete. 



As I was walking up the street, 
A barefit maid I chanc'd to meet ; 
But O, the road was very hard 
For that fair maiden's tender feet ! 



II. 

It were mair meet that those fine feet 
Were weel laced up in silken shoon ! 

An' 't were more fit that she should sii 
Within yon chariot gilt aboon ! 



WANDERING WILLIE. — BRAW LADS O' GALEA WATER. 



299 



III. 

Her yellow hair, beyond compare, 
Comes tumbling clown her swan- 
white neck. 
And her twa eyes, like stars in skies. 
Would keep a sinking ship frae 
wreck. 

Choms. 

Mally 's meek, Mally 's sweet, 
Mally 's modest and discreet, 
Mally 's rare, Mally 's fair, 
Mally 's ev'ry way complete. 



WANDERING WILLIE. 
[Adapted by Burns from an old ballad.] 



Here awa, there awa, wandering 
Willie, 
Here awa, there awa, baud awa 
hame ! 
Come to my bosom, my ae only 
dearie, 
And tell me thou bring'st me my 
Willie the same. 

n. 

Loud tho' the Winter blew cauld at 
our parting, 
'T was na the blast brought the tear 
in my e^e : 
Welcome now Simmer, and welcome 
my Willie, 
The Simmer to Nature, my Willie 
to me ! 

III. 

Rest, ye wild storms in the cave o' 
your slumbers — 
How your wild howling a lover 
alarms ! 
Wauken, ye breezes, row gently, ye 
billows. 
And waft my dear laddie ance mair 
to ray arms. 



IV. 

But O, if he \s faithless, and minds na 
his Nannie, 
Flow still between us, thou wide- 
roaring main ! 
May I never see it, may I never trow 
it, 
But, dying, believe that my Willie 's 
my ain ! 



BRAW LADS O' GALEA WATER. 

[Sent to Thomson's " Scottish Airs." 
Burns got his lyrical idea from one of" Five 
Excellent New Songs " in a very old chap.] 



Braw, braw lads on Yan-ow^ braes. 
They rove amang the blooming 
heather ; 

But Yarrow braes nor Ettrick shaws 
Can match the lads o' Galla Water. 



II. 

But there is ane, a secret ane, 
Aboon them a' I loe him better ; 

And I '11 be his, and he *11 be mine, 
The bonie lad o' Galla Water. 



III. 

Altho' his daddie was nae laird, 
And tho' I hae nae meikle tocher. 

Yet, rich in kindest, truest love. 
We '11 tent our flocks by Galla 
Water. 

.IV. 

It ne'er was wealth, it ne'er was 
wealth. 
That coft contentment, peace, and 
pleasure : 
The bands and bliss o' mutual love, 
O, that 's the chiefest warld's treas- 
ure ! 



300 



AULD ROB MORRIS. — OPEN THE DOOR TO ME, O. 



AULD ROB MORRIS. 

[Burns, writing to Thomson, says: "I 
have partly taken your idea of ' Auld Rob 
Morris.' I have adopted the first two 
verses, and am going on with the song on a 
new plan, which promises pretty well."] 



There 's Auld Rob Morris that wons 

in yon glen, 
He 's the king o^ guid fellows and 

wale of auld men : 
He has gowd in his coffers, he has 

owsen and kine, 
And ae bonie lassie, his dautie and 

mine. 

II. 

She 's fresh as the morning the fairest 

in May, 
She 's sweet as the evening amang the 

new hay, 
As blythe and as artless as the lambs 

on the lea, 
And dear to my heart as the light to 

my e'e. 

III. 

But O, she 's an heiress, auld Robin 's 
a laird. 

And my daddie has nocht but a cot- 
house and yard ! 

A wooer like me maunna hope to 
come speed : 

The wounds I must hide that will 
soon be my dead. 

rv. 

The day comes to me, but delight 

brings me nane ; 
The night comes to me, but my rest 

it is ^ane ; 
I wander my lane like a night-troubled 

ghaist, 
And I sigh as my heart it wad burst 

in my breast. 



V. 

O, had she but been of a lower de- 
gree, 

I then might hae hopM she wad smiPd 
upon me ! 

O, how past descriving had then been 
my bliss, 

As now my distraction no words can 
express ! 



OPEN THE DOOR TO ME, O. 

[It is doubtful how far Burns is indebted 
to an original, for none has ever been 
found. In Thomson it is headed, " As 
altered for this work by Burns," and the 
air is marked as Irish.] 



I. 

O, OPEN the door some pity to shew, 

If love it may na be, O ! 
Tho' thou hast been false, I '11 ever 
prove true — 

O, open the door to me, O ! 

II. 

Cauld is the blast upon my pale 
cheek, 
But caulder thy love for me, O : 
The frost, that freezes the life at my 
heart. 
Is nought to my pains frae thee, O ! 

III. 

The wan moon sets behind the white 
wave, 
And Time is setting with me, O : 
False friends, false love, farewell ! for 
mair 
I ^11 ne'er trouble them nor thee, O ! 

IV. 

She has openM the door, she has 
open'd it wide. 
She sees the pale corse on the 
plain, O, 



WHEN WILD WAR'S DEADLY BLAST. 



301 



My true love !' she cried, and sank 
down by his side — 
Never to rise again, O ! 



WHEN WILD WAR'S DEADLY 
BLAST. 

[Sent to Thomson by Burns, who says, 
" I send vou also a ballad to the tune of 
♦The Mill and the Mill, O.'" Thomson 
made certain changes in the song; but on 
a copy sent to Miss Graham of Fintry, 
Burns restored the old readings.] 



I. 

When wild War's deadly blast was 
blawn, 

And gentle Peace returning, 
Wi' monie a sweet babe fatherless 

And monie a widow mourning, 
I left the lines and tented field. 

Where lang I 'd been a lodger, 
My humble knapsack a' my wealth, 

A poor and honest sodger. 



n. 

A leal, light heart was in my breast, 

My hand unstained wi' plunder, 
And for fair Scotia, hame again, 

I cheery on did wander : 
I thought upon the banks o' Coil, 

I thought upon my Nancy, 
And ay I mind't the witching smile 

That caught my youthful fancy. 

in. 

At length I reached the bonie glen, 

Where early life I sported. 
I pass'd the mill and trysting thorn, 

Where Nancy aft I courted. 
Wha spied I but my ain dear maid, 

Down by her mother's dwelHng, 
And turned me round to hide the 
flood 

That in my een was swelling ! 



IV. 



Sweet 



Wi' altered voice, quoth I : 
lass, 

Sweet as yon hawthorn's blossom, 
O, happy, happy may he be, 

That 's dearest to thy bosom ! 
My purse is light, I Ve far to gang, 

And fain wad be thy lodger ; 
Tve served my king and country lang — 

Take pity on a sodger.' 

V. 

Sae wistfully she gaz'd on me, 

And lovelier was than ever. 
Quo' she : — 'A sodger ance I lo'ed. 

Forget him shall I never. 
Our humble cot, and hamely fare. 

Ye freely shall partake it ; 
That gallant badge — the dear cock- 
ade — 

Ye 're welcome for the sake o 't ! ' 

VI. 

She gaz'd, she redden'd like a rose. 

Syne, pale like onie lily, 
She^sank within my arms, and cried — 

^ Art thou my ain dear Willie? ' 
' By Him who made yon sun and sky 

By whom true love 's regarded, 
I am the man ! And thus may still 

True lovers be rewarded ! 

VII. 

^The w^ars are o'er and I'm come 
hame. 

And find thee still true-hearted. 
Tho' poor in gear we Ve rich in love, 

And main we'se ne'er be parted.' 
Quo' she : — ^ My grandsire left me 
gowd, 

A mailen plenish'd fairly ! 
And come, my faithfu' sodger lad. 

Thou 'rt welcome to it dearly !' 

VIII. 

For gold the merchant ploughs the 
main. 
The farmer ploughs the manor ; 



302 



DUNCAN GRAY. — DELUDED SWAIN, THE PLEASURE. 



But glory is the sodger's prize, 
The sodger's wealth is honour ! 

The brave poor sodger ne'er despise, 
Nor count him as a stranger : 

Remember he 's his country's stay 
In day and hour of danger. 



DUNCAN GRAY. 

[Of this song and " Auld Rob Morris" 
Burns says to Thomson : "The foregoing I 
submit, my dear sir, to your better judg- 
ment; acquit them or condemn them as 
seemeth good in thy sight. ' Duncan Gray ' 
is that kind of light-horse gallop of an air 
which precludes sentiment. The ludicrous 
is its ruling feature."] 



I. 

Duncan Gray cam here to woo 

(Ha, ha, the wooing o't !) 
On blythe Yule-Night when we were 
fou 
(Ha, ha, the wooing o't !). 
Maggie coost her head fu' high. 
Looked asklent and unco skeigh, 
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh — 
Ha, ha, the wooing o*t ! 

II. 

Duncan fleech'd, and Duncan pray'd 

(Ha, ha, the wooing o 't I), 
Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig 
(Ha, ha, the wooing o*t !). 
Duncan sigh'd baith out and in, 
Grat his een baith bleer't an blin', 
Spak o' lowpin o'er a linn — 
Ha, ha, the wooing o't ! 

III. 

Time and Chance are but a tide 
(Ha, ha, the wooing o ^t ! ) : 

Slighted love is sair to bide 
(Ha, ha, the wooing o 't !). 

' Shall I like a fool,- quoth he, 

' For a haughty hizzie die? 

She may gae to — France for me ! ' — 
Ha, ha^ the wooing o ^t ! 



IV. 

How it comes, let doctors tell 

(Ha, ha, the w^ooing o't) : 
Meg grew sick, as he grew hale 

(Ha, ha, the wooing o't!). 
Something in her bosom wrings, 
For relief a sigh she brings, 
AndO! her een they spak sic things! 
Ha, ha, the wooing o "t ! 



V. 

Duncan was a lad o' grace 
(Ha, ha, the wooing o^t !) 

Maggie's was a piteous case 
(Ha, ha, the wooing o't ! ) : 

Duncan could na be her death. 

Swelling pity smoor'd his wrath ; 

Now they Ve crouse and canty baith 
Ha, ha, the wooing o 't ! 



DELUDED SWAIN, THE 
PLEASURE. 

[" Pastiche of little merit on an old song." 

— Andrew Lang.] 

I. 

Deluded swain, the pleasure 

The fickle Fair can give thee 
Is but a fairy treasure — 

Thy hopes will soon deceive thee : 
The billows on the ocean, 

The breezes idly roaming. 
The cloud's uncertain motion. 

They are but types of Woman ! 



II. 

O, art thou not ashamed 

To doat upon a feature ? 
If Man thou w^ouldst be named, 

Despise the silly creature ! 
Go, find an honest fellow. 

Good claret set before thee, 
Hold on till thou art mellow, 

And then to bed in glory ! 



HERE IS THE GLEN. — LORD GREGORY. 



303 



HERE IS THE GLEN. 

[Burns, writing to Thomson, says of this 
song: "I know you value a composition 
because it is made by one of the great ones 
as Httle as I do. However, I got an air, 
pretty enough, composed by Lady EUza- 
beth Heron of Heron, which she calls the 
' Banks of Cree.' Cree is a beautiful, ro- 
mantic stream, and, as her ladyship is a 
particular friend of mine, I have written the 
following song to it."] 



Here is the glen, and here the bower 

All underneath the birchen shade, 
The village-bell has tolPd the hour — 

O, what can stay my lovely maid? 
'T is not Marians whispering call — 

^T is but the balmy-breathing gale, 
Mixed with some warbler's dying fall 

The dewy star of eve to hail ! 



II. 

It is Maria's voice I hear ! — 

So calls the woodlark in the grove 
His little faithful mate to cheer : 

At once 't is music and 't is love ! 
And art thou come ? And art thou 
true? 

O, welcome, dear, to love and me, 
And let us all our vows renew 

Along the flowery banks of Cree ! 



LET 



NOT WOMEN E'ER 
COMPLAIN. 



[Burns says: "These English songs 
gravel me to death. I have not that com- 
mand of the language that I have of my 
native tongue. In fact, I think my ideas 
are more barren in English than in Scot- 
tish. I have been at ' Duncan Gray,' to 
dress it in English, but all I can do is de- 
plorably stupid."] 

I. 

Let not women e'er complain 
Of inconstancy in love i 



Let not women e'er complain 
Fickle man is apt to rove ! 
Look abroad thro' Nature's range, 
Nature's mighty law is change : 
Ladies, would it not be strange 
Man should then a monster prove? 

II. 

Mark the winds, and mark the skies, 
Ocean's ebb and ocean's flow. 

Sun and moon but set to rise. 
Round and round the seasons go. 

Why, then, ask of silly man 

To oppose great Nature's plan ? 

We *11 be constant, while we can — 
You can be no more, you know ! 



LORD GREGORY. 

[Peter Pindar (Dr. Wolcott) wrote Eng- 
lish verses for Thomson on the same 
theme. In relation to this, Burns writes : 
" I have tried to give you a set of stanzas in 
Scots on the same subject, which are at 
your service. Not that I intend to enter 
the lists with Peter — that would be pre- 
sumption indeed ! My song, though much 
inferior in poetic merit, has, I think, more 
of the ballad simplicity in it."] 

I. 

O, MIRK, mirk is this midnight hour, 
And loud the tempest's roar ! 

A waefu' wanderer seeks thy tower — 
Lord Gregory, ope thy door. 

II. 

An exile frae her father's ha', 

And a' for sake o' thee. 
At least some pity on me shaw, 

If love it may na be. 



III. 

Lord Gregory mind'st thou not the 
grove 

By bonie Irwine side, 
Where first I own'd that virgin love 

I lang, lang had denied? 



3^4 



O, STAY, SWEET WARBLING WOOD-LARK. 



IV. 



How aften didst thou pledge and vow, 
Thou wad for ay be mine ! 

And my fond heart, itseP sae true, 
It ne'er mistrusted thine. 



V. 



Hard is thy heart, Lord Gregory, 

And flinty is thy breast : 
Thou bolt of Heaven that flashest by, 

O, wilt thou bring me rest ! 



VI. 



Ye mustering thunders from above, 

Your willing victim see, 
But spare and pardon my fause love 

His wrangs to Heaven and me ! 



O POORTITH CAULt). 

[Gilbert Burns told Thomson that Burns's 
heroine was a Miss Jane Blackstock, after- 
wards Mrs. Whittier of Liverpool. But it 
was probab-ly Jean Lorimer, who was then 
contemplating the marriage of which she 
instantly repented.] 

Chorus. 

O, why should Fate sic pleasure have 
Life's dearest bands untwining? 

Or why sae sweet a flower as love 
Depend on Fortune's shining? 



O PooRTiTH cauld and restless Love, 
Ye wrack my peace between ye ! 

Yet poortith a' I could forgive, 
An 't were na for my Jeanie. 



II. 

The warld's wealth when I think on, 
Its pride and a' the lave o 't — 

My curse on silly coward man, 
That he should be the slave o 't ! 



III. 



Her een sae bonie blue betray 
How she repays my passion ; 

But prudence is her o'erword ay ; 
She talks o' rank and fashion. 



IV. 



O, wha can prudence think upon. 

And sic a lassie by him ? 
O, wha can prudence think upon, 

And sae in love as I am ? 

V. 

How blest the wild-wood Indian's fate ! 

He woos his artless dearie — 
The silly bogles, Wealth and State, 

Can never make him eerie. 

Chorus. 

O, why should Fate sic pleasure have. 

Life's dearest bands untwining? 
Or why sae sweet a flower as love 



Depend on Fortune's shinin 



0-? 



O, STAY, SWEET WARBLING 
WOOD-LARK. 

[" If this piece had an occasion, nothing 
is known about it." — ANDREW LANG.] 



I. 



warbling 



wood-lark. 



O, STAY, sweet 

stay. 

Nor quit for me the trembling spray ! 
A hapless lover courts thy lay. 

Thy soothing, fond complaining. 
Again, again that tender part, 
That I may catch thy melting art ! 
For surely that wad touch her heart, 



Wha kills me wi' 



disdaining. 



II. 



Say, was thy little mate unkind. 
And heard thee as the careless wind? 
O, nocht but love and sorrow join'd 
Sic notes o' woe could wauken ! 



SAW YE BONIE LESLEY. — YOUNG JESSIE. 



305 



Thou tells o' never-ending care, 
O* speechless grief and dark despair — 
For pity's sake, sweet bird, nae mair, 
Or my poor heart is broken ! 



SAW YE BONIE LESLEY. 

[" Bonie Lesley " was Miss Leslie Baillie, 
daughter of Mr. Baillie of Mayfield, Ayr- 
shire. She married in June, 1799, Mr. Rob- 
ert Gumming of Logie, and died in July, 
1843-] 



O, SAW ye bonie Lesley, 

As she gaed o'er the Border? 

She *s gane, like Alexander, 

To spread her conquests farther ! 

II. 

To see her is to love her, 

And love but her for ever ; 
For Nature made her what she is, 
And never made anither ! 

III. 

Thou art a queen, fair Lesley — 
Thy subjects, we before thee ! 

Thou art divine, fair Lesley — 
The hearts o' men adore thee. 



IV. 

The Deil he could na skaith thee, 
Or aught that wad belang thee : 

He'd look into thy bonie face. 
And say — ^ I canna wrang thee ! ' 



The Powers aboon will tent thee, 
Misfortune sha^ na steer thee : 

Thou 'rt like themseP sae lovely. 
That ill they '11 ne'er let near thee. 

VI. 

Return again, fair Lesley, 

Return to Caledonie ! 
That we may brag we hae a lass 

There *s nane again sae bonie. 



SWEET FA'S THE EVE. 

[" How will the following do for ' Graig- 
ieburn Wood'?" (Burns to Thomson, 
Jan. 15, 1795.) See " Graigieburn Wood," 

P- 253.] 



I. 

Sweet fa's the eve on Graigieburn, 
And blythe awakes the morrow, 

But a' the pride o' Spring's return 
Can yield me nocht but sorrow. 



II. 

I see the flowers and spreading trees, 
I hear the wild birds singing : 

But what a weary wight can please, 
And Care his bosom is wringing.'* 



III. 

Fain, fain would I my griefs impart, 

Yet dare na for vour answer : 
But secret love will break my heart, 
If I conceal it langer. 



IV. 

If thou refuse to pity me. 
If thou shalt love another, 

When yon green leaves fade frae the 
tree, 
Around my grave they'll wither. 



YOUNG JESSIE. 

[The lady was Miss Jessie Staig (daughter 
of Provost Staig of Dumfries, on whose re- 
covery from illness Burns wrote the epigram 
"To Dr. Maxwell."] 



True hearted was he, the sad swain 

o' the YaiTow> 
And fair are the maids on the banks 

of the Ayr ; 
But by the sweet side o' the Nith's 

winding river 



3o6 



ADOWN WINDING NITH. 



Are lovers as faithful, and maidens 

as fair : 
To equal young Jessie seek Scotia all 

over — 
To equal young Jessie you seek it 

in vain ! 
Grace, beauty, and elegance fetter her 

lover, 
And maidenly modesty fixes the 

chain. 

II. 

Fresh is the rose in the gay, dewy 
morning, 
And sweet is the lily at evening 
close ; 
But in the fair presence o' lovely 
young Jessie 
Unseen is the lily, unheeded the 
rose. 
Love sits in her smile, a wizard en- 
snaring ; 
Enthroned in her een he delivers 
his law ; 
And still to her charms she alone is a 
stranger : 
Her modest demeanour 's the jewel 
ofa\ 



II. 



ADOWN WINDING NITH. 

[" Miss Phillis is a Miss Phillis M'Murdo, 
sister to the ' Bonie Jean' which I sent you 
some time ago." (Burns to Thomson, Au- 
gust, 1793.)] 

Chortis. 

Awa wi' your belles and your beau- 
ties — 

They never wi' her can compare ! 
Whaever hae met wi* my Phillis 

Has met wi^ the Queen o' the Fair ! 

I. 

Adown winding Nith I did wander 
To mark the sweet Howers as they 
spring. 

Adown winding Nith I did wander 
Of Phillis to muse and to sing. 



The Daisy amus'd my fond fancy. 
So artless, so simple, so wild : 

^ Thou emblem,' said I, ' o' my Phil- 
lis^— 
For she is Simplicity's child. 



III. 

The rose-bud 's the blush 6' my 
charmer, 
Her sweet balmy lip when 't is 
prest. 
How fair and how pure is the lily ! 
But fairer and purer her breast. 



IV. 

Yon knot of gay flowers in the arbour, 
They ne'er wi' my Phillis can vie : 

Her breath is the breath of the wood- 
bine. 
Its dew-drop o' diamond her eye. 



Her voice is the song o' the morning. 
That wakes thro' the green-spreacl- 
ing grove, 
When Phebus peeps over the moun- 
tains 
On music, and pleasure, and love. 



VI. 

But Beauty, how frail and how fleet- 
ing ! 
The bloom of a fine summer's day ! 
While Worth in the mind o' my 
Phillis 
Will flourish without a decay. 

Chorus. 

Awa wi' your belles and your beau- 
ties — 

They never wi' her can compare ! 
Whaever hae met wd' my Phillis 

Has met wi' the Queen o' the Fair ! 



A LASS WV A TOCHER. — BY ALLAN STREAM. 



307 



A LASS Wr A TOCHER. 

[" The other day I strung up a kind of 
rhapsody to another Hibernian melody 
that I admire much." (Burns to Thomson, 
February, 1796.) The " Hibernian melody " 
was " Balinamona Ora."] 

Ch07'2lS. 

Then hey for a lass \s\ a tocher, 
Then hey for a lass wi^ a tocher. 
Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher. 
The nice yellow guineas for me ! 

I. 

AwA wi' your witchcraft o' Beauty's 

alarms, 
The slender bit beauty you grasp in 

your arms I 
O, gie me the lass that has acres o' 

charms ! 
O. sie me the lass wi' the weel-stockit 



farms ! 



II. 



\our Beauty's a flower in the morn- 
ing that blows. 

And withers the faster the faster it 
grows : 

But the rapturous charm o' the bonie 
green knowes, 

Ilk spring they 're new deckit wi' 
bonie white yowes ! 

III. 

And e'en when this Beauty your 

bosom has blest. 
The brightest o* Beauty may cloy 

when possess'd : 
But the sweet, yellow darlings wi' 

Geordie impress'd. 
The langer ye hae them, the mair 

they "re carest ! 

CJionis. 

Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher. 
Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher. 
Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher. 
The nice yellow oruineas for me I 



BLYTHE HAE I BEEX 
VOX HILL. 



OxN 



[Burns writes this " is one of the finest 
songs I ever made in my life, and is com- 
posed on a young lady, positively the most 
beautiful lovely woman in the world." She 
was Miss Leslie Baillie.] 



Blythe hae I been on yon hill 

As the lambs before me. 
Careless ilka thought, and free 

As the breeze flew o'er me. 
Now nae langer sport and play, 

Mirth or sang can please me : 
Lesley is sae fair and coy. 

Care and angiiish seize me. 

II. 

Heavy, heavy is the task, 

Hopeless love declaring! 
Trembling, I dow nocht but glow'r 

Sighing, dumb despairing ! 
If she winna ease the thraws 

In my bosom swelling. 
Underneath the grass-sjeen sod 

Soon maun be mv 



dwelling. 



BY ALLAN STREAM. 



[^^' 



Written in August, 1793. Lhe poem 
pleased Burns, who writes, " I may be 
wrong, but I think it is not in mv worst 
style."] 



By Allan stream I chanc'd to rove, 
While Phebus sank beyond Ben- 
ledi: 
The winds were whispering thro' the 
grove. 
The yellow corn was waving ready ; 
I listen'd to a lover's sang. 

An' thought on youthfu' pleasures 
monie, 
And ay the wild-wood echoes rang : — 
•O, my love Annie 's very bonie ! 



3o8 



CANST THOU LEAVE ME. — CONTEN LED WI^ LITTLE. 



II. 

^ O, happy be the woodbine bower, 

Nae nightly bogle make it eerie 1 
Nor ever sorrow stain the hour, 

The place and time I met my dearie ! 
Her head upon my throbbing breast, 

She, sinking, said : — "I 'm thine 
for ever ! '^ 
While monie a kiss the seal imprest — 

The sacred vow we ne'er should 



sever. 



III. 



The haunt o' Spring 's the primrose- 
brae. 
The Summer joys the flocks to 
follow. 
How cheery thro' her shortening day 
Is Autumn in her weeds o' yellow ! 
But can they melt the glowing heart. 
Or chain the soul in speechless 
pleasure. 
Or thro' each nerve the rapture dart. 
Like meeting her, our bosom's 
treasure ? 



CANST THOU LEAVE ME ! 

[" Well, I think this, to be done in two or 
three turns across my room, and with two 
or three pinches of Irish blackguard, is not 
far amiss. You see, I am determined to 
have my quantum of applause from some- 
body." (Burns to Thomson, Nov. 20, 1794.)] 

Chorus, 

Canst thou leave me thus, my Katie ! 

Canst thou leave me thus, my Katie ! 
Well thou know'st my aching heart, 

And canst thou leave me thus for 
pity? 



Is this thy plighted, fond regard : 
Thus cruelly to part, my Katie? 

Is this thy faithful swain's reward : 
An aching broken heart, my Katie? 



II. 

Farewell ! And ne'er such sorrows 

tear 

That fickle heart of thine, my Katie ! 

Thou may'st find those will love thee 

dear. 

But not a love like mine, my Katie. 

Chorals. 

Canst thou leave me thus, my Katie ! 

Canst thou leave me thus, my Katie ! 
Well thou know'st my aching heart, 

And canst thou leave me thus for 
pity? 



COME, LET ME TAKE THEE. 

[" A mosaic. Lines written many years 
earlier, in ' Peggy Alison,' are added to 
verses suggested by Jean Lorimer." — AN- 
DREW Lang.] 



Come, let me take thee to my breast. 

And pledge we ne'er shall sunder, 
And I shall spurn as vilest dust 

The world's wealth and grandeur ! 
And do I hear my Jeanie own 

That equal transports move her? 
I ask for dearest life alone. 

That I may live to love her. 

II. 

Thus in my arms, wi' a' her charms, 

I clasp my countless treasure, 
1 11 seek nae mair o' Heav'n to share 

Than sic a moment's pleasure ! 
And by thy een sae bonie blue 

I swear I 'm thine for ever, 
And on thy lips I seal my vow. 

And break it shall I never ! 



CONTENTED WP LITTLE. 

['* I have some thoughts of suggesting to 
you to prepare a vignette ... to my song 
' Contented wi' Little and Cantie wi' Mair,' 



FAREWELL, THOU STREAM.— -HAD I A CAVE. 



309 



in order the portrait of my face and the pic- 
ture of my mind may go down the stream 
of time together." (Burns to Thomson, 
May, 1795-)] 



Contented wi' little and cantie wi' 

mair, 
Whene'er I forgather wP Sorrow and 

Care, 
I gie them a skelp, as they 're creepin 

alang, 
Wi' a cog o' guid swats and an auld 

Scottish sang. 

II. 

I whyles claw the elbow o' troublesome 

Thought ; 
But Man is a soger, and Life is a faught. 
My mirth and guid humour are coin in 

my pouch, 
And my Freedom 's my lairdship nae 

monarch daur touch. 

III. 

A towmond o' trouble, should that be 

my fa\ 
A night o' guid fellowship sowthers 

it a': 
When at the blythe end o' our journey 

at last, 
Wha the Deil ever thinks o' the road 

he has past? 

IV. 

Blind Chance, let her snapper and 

stoyte on her way, 
Be 't to me, be H frae me, e'en let the 

jade gae ! 
Come Ease or come Travail, come 

Pleasure or Pain, 
My warst word is — ' Welcome, and 

welcome again ! ' 



FAREWELL, THOU STREAM. 

[The heroine was Maria Riddell, to whom 
Burns sent a copy. To this he added this 
note (first published in the Centenary edi- 



tion), ''On reading over the song, I see it is 
but a cold, inanimated composition. It will 
be absolutely necessary for me to get in love, 
else I shall never be able to make a line 
worth reading on the subject." " The poet 
having, meanwhile, had a difference with 
that lady, he disguised the song by chang- 
ing the name from ' Maria ' to Eliza, and 
by giving it a new opening line, with direc- 
tions to have it set to a different tune." — 
William Scott Douglas.] 

I. 

Farewell, thou stream that winding 
flows 

Around Eliza's dwelling ! 
O MemVy, spare the cruel throes 

Within my bosom swelling : 
Condemned to drag a hopeless chain 

And yet in secret languish. 
To feel a fire in every vein 

Nor dare disclose my anguish ! 



II. 

Love's veriest wretch, unseen, un- 
known, 

I fain my griefs would cover : 
The bursting sigh, th' unweeting groan 

Betray the hapless lover. 
I know thou doom'st me to despair, 

Nor wilt, nor canst relieve me ; 
But, O Eliza, hear one prayer — 

For pity's sake forgive me ! 

III. 

The music of thy voice I heard. 

Nor wist while it enslaved me ! 
I saw thine eyes, yet nothing fear'd, 

Till fears no more had sav'd me 1 
Th' unwary sailor thus, aghast 

The wheeling torrent viewing, 
'Mid circling horrors sinks at last 

In overwhelmino: ruin. 



HAD I A CAVE. 

["That crinkum-crankum tune, 'Robin 
Adair,' has run so in my head, and I suc- 
ceeded so ill in my last attempt [" Phillis 



310 HERE'S A HEALTH. — HOW CRUEL ARE THE PARENTS. 



the Fair," p. 345], that I ventured in my 
morning's walk one essay more." (Burns 
to Thomson, August, 1793.)] 

I. 

Had I a cave 

On some wild distant shore, 
Where the winds howl 

To the wave's dashing roar, 
There would I weep my woes, 
There seek my lost repose. 
Till grief my eyes should close. 
Ne'er to wake more ! 



II. 

Falsest of womankind, 
Can'st thou declare 
All thy fond, plighted vows 
Fleeting as air? 

To thy new lover hie. 
Laugh o'er thy perjury. 
Then in thy bosom try 
What peace is there ! 



HERE'S A HEALTH. 

[The heroine, Jessie Lewars, sister of 
John Lewars, a fellow-exciseman, was of 
great service to the Burns household during 
the last illness. She married Mr. James 
Thomson, of Dumfries, and died May 26, 
1855-] 

Chortis, 

Here 's a health to ane I loe dear ! 
Here 's a health to ane I loe dear ! 
Thou art sweet as the smile when 
fond lovers meet, 
And soft as their parting tear, 

Jessy — 
And soft as their parting tear ! 



Altho' thou maun never be mine, 
Altho' even hope is denied, 

'T is sweeter for thee despairing 
Than ought in the world beside, 

Jessy — 
Than ought in the world beside ! 



II. 

I mourn thro' the gay, gaudy day, 

As hopeless I muse on thy charms ; 
But welcome the dream o' sweet 
slumber ! 
For then I am lockt in thine arms, 

Jessy — 
For then I am lockt in thine arms ! 



Chortis. 

Here 's a health to ane I loe dear ! 
Here 's a health to ane I loe dear ! 
Thou art sweet as the smile when 
fond lovers meet, 
And soft as their parting tear, 

Jessy — 
And soft as their parting tear ! 



HOW CRUEL ARE THE 
PARENTS. 

["A song altered from an old English 
one," (R. B.) found in several London pub- 
lications, 1733-1756.] 



How cruel are the parents 

Who riches only prize, 
And to the wealthy booby 

Poor Woman sacrifice I 
Meanwhile the hapless daughter 

Has but a choice of strife : 
To shun a tyrant father's hate 

Become a wretched wife ! 



II. 

The ravening hawk pursuing. 

The trembling dove thus flies 
To shun impending ruin 

Awhile her pinion tries. 
Till, of escape despairing. 

No shelter or retreat, 
She trusts the ruthless falconer. 

And drops beneath his feet. 



HUSBAND, HUSBAND. — IT WAS THE CHARMING MONTH. 311 



HUSBAND, HUSBAND, CEASE 
YOUR STRIFE 

[Sent to Thomson, December, 1793.] 



Husband, husband, cease your strife, 

Nor longer idly rave, sir ! 
Tho' I am your wedded wife, 

Yet I am not your slave, sir. 
' One of two must still obey, 

Nancy, Nancy ! 
Is it Man or Woman, say, 

My spouse Nancy ? ' 



II. 

' If \ is still the lordly word, 

Service and obedience, 
I Ml desert my sovereign lord, 

And so goodby allegiance ! 
^ Sad will I be so bereft, 

Nancy, Nancy ! 
Yet 1 '11 try to make a shift. 

My spouse Nancy ! ' 



III. 

' My poor heart, then break it must, 

My last hour I am near it : 
When you lay me in the dust. 

Think, how will you bear it?' 
' I will hope and trust in Heaven, 

Nancy, Nancy ! 
Strength to bear it will be given, 

My spouse Nancy.' 



IV. 

^ Well, sir, from the silent dead, 

Still I 'll try to daunt you : 
Ever round your midnight bed 

Horrid sprites shall haunt you ! ' 
' I '11 wed another like my dear 

Nancy, Nancy ! 
Then all Hell will fly for fear, 

My spouse Nancy ! ' 



IT WAS THE CHARMING 
MONTH. 



[Abridged from a song in " The Tea- 
Table Miscellany." Burns writes to Thom- 
son, November, 1794: "You may think 
meanly of this ; but take a look at the bom- 
bast original, and you will be surprised that 
I have made so much of it."] 



CJlortCS. 

Lovely was she by the dawn. 

Youthful Chloe, charming Chloe, 

Tripping o'er the pearly lawn. 
The youthful, charming Chloe ! 



I. 



It was the charming month of May, 
When all the flow'rs were fresh and 

gay, 

One morning, by the break of day. 

The youthful, charming Chloe, 

From peaceful slumber she arose, 

Girt on her mantle and her hose. 

And o'er the flow'ry mead she goes — 

The youthful, charming Chloe ! 



II. 



The feather'd people you might see 
Perch'd all around on every tree ! 
With notes of sweetest melody 

They hail the charming Chloe, 
Till, painting gay the eastern skies. 
The glorious sun began to rise, 
Outrival'd by the radiant eyes 

Of youthful, charming Chloe. 



CJiorics. 

Lovely was she by the dawn, 

Youthful Chloe, charming Chloe, 

Tripping o'er the pearly lawn. 
The youthful, charming Chloe ! 



312 



LAST MAY A BRAW WOOER. 



LAST MAY A BRAW WOOER. 

[Sent to Thomson, July 3, 1795. A 
corrupt set was published in Johnson's 
" Museum," 1803.] 



Last May a braw wooer cam down 
the lang glen, 
And sair wP his love he did deave 
me. 
I said there was naething I hated 
like men : 
The deuce gae wi ^m to believe me, 

believe me — 
The deuce sae wi 'm to believe me ! 



II. 

He spak o' the darts in my bonie 
black een, 
And vow'd for my love he was 
diein. 
I said, he might die when he liket for 
Jean: 
The Lord forgie me for liein, for 

liein — 
The Lord forgie me for liein ! 



III. 

A weel-stocket mailen, himsel for the 

laird, 
And marriage aff-hand were his 

proffers : 
I never loot on that I kenn'd it, or 

car*d. 
But thought I might hae waur 

offers, waur offers — 
But thought I might hae waur 

offers. 



IV. 

But what wad ye think ? In a fort- 
night or less 
(The Deil tak his taste to gae near 
her!) 

He up the Gate-Slack to my black 
cousin, Bess ! 



Guess ye how, the jad ! I could 
bear her, could bear her — 

Guess ye how, the jad ! I could 
bear her. 



But a' the niest week, as I petted wi' 

care, 

I gaed to the tryste o' Dalgarnock, 

And wha but my fine fickle lover was 

there? 

I glowrM as I -d seen a warlock, a 

warlock — 
I glowr'd as I 'd seen a warlock. 



VI. 

But owre my left shouther I gae him 
a blink. 
Lest neebours might say I was 
saucy. 
My wooer he caper'd as he 'd been in 
drink. 
And vow'd I was his dear lassie, 

dear lassie — 
And vow'd I was his dear lassie ! 



VII. 

I spier'd for my cousin fu' couthy and 
sweet : 
Gin she had recovered her hearin? 
And how her new shoon fit her auld, 
shachrd feet ? 
But heavens ! how he fell a swearin, 

a swearin — 
But heavens ! how he fell a swearin ! 



VIII. 

He begged, for gudesake, I wad be 
his wife, 
Or else I wad kill him wi' sorrow ; 
So e'en to preserve the poor body in 
life, 
I think I maun wed him to-morrow, 

to-morrow — 
I think I maun wed him to-morrow! 



MY XANTE'S AWA. — NOW ROSY MAY. 



MY NANIE'S AW A, 

[Sent to Thomson, December 9, 1794. 
"Mrs. MacLehose was one of Burns's 
Nanies or Nancies. The hnes may or 
may not refer to her." — Andrew Lang.] 



I. 

Now in her green mantle blythe 

Nature arrays. 
And listens the lambkins that bleat 

o'er the braes. 
While birds warble welcomes in ilka 

green shaw. 
But to me it 's delightless — my 

Nanie 's awa. 



n. 

The snawdrap and primrose our 

woodlands adorn. 
And violets bathe in the weet o' the 

morn. 
They pain my sad bosom, sae sweetly 

'they blaw : 
They mind me o' Nanie — and 

Nanie 's awa I 



ni. 

Thou lavYock, that springs frae the 
dews of the lawn 

The shepherd to warn o* the grey- 
breaking dawn. 

And thou mellow mavis, that hails 
the night-fa*. 

Give over for pity — my Nanie *s awa. 



IV. 

Come Autumn, sae pensive in yellow 
and grey. 

And soothe me wi' tidings 0' Nature's 
decay I 

The dark, drear}' Winter and wild- 
driving snaw 

Alane can delight me — now Nanie 's 
awa. 



NOW ROSY MAY. 

[" The words ' Dainty Davie ' glide so 
sweetly in the air, that to a Scots ear, any 
song to it, without Davie being the hero, 
would have a lame effect." (R. B. to 
Thomson, August, 1793.)] 



Meet me on the Warlock Knowe, 
Dainty Davie. Dainty Davie ! 

There 1*11 spend the day wi' you, 
Mv ain dear Daintv Davie. 



I. 

NOAV rosy May comes in wi* flowers 
To deck her gay, green-spreading 

bowers : 
And now comes in the happy hours 
To wander wi' mv Davie. 



n. 

The crystal waters round us fa\ 
The merry birds are lovers a\ 
The scented breezes round us blaw, 
A wandering wi my Davie. 

III. 

When purple morning starts the hare 
To steal upon her early fare. 
Then thro* the dews I will repair 
To meet my faithfii' Davie. 

IV. 

When dav. expiring in the west. 
The curtain draws o* NaUire's rest. 
I flee to his arms I loe the best : 
And that *s my ain dear Davie ! 

C/ion/s. 

Meet me on the Warlock Knowe, 
Daintv Davie. Dainty Davie ! 

There I '11 spend the day wi' you, 
Mv ain dear Dainty Davie. 



314 NOW SPRING HAS CLAD. — O, THIS IS NO MY AIN LASSIE. 



NOW SPRING HAS CLAD. 

[Inscribed to Allan Cunningham; and 
dated Aug. 3, 1795.] 



Now 



I. 

has clad the 



in 



spring 
green, 
And strewM the lea wi' flowers ; 
The furrow'd, waving corn is seen 

Rejoice in fostering showers ; 
While ilka thing in nature join 

Their sorrows to forego, 
O, why thus all alone are mine 
The weary steps o' woe ! 

II. 

The trout within yon wimpling burn 

Glides swift, a silver dart. 
And, safe beneath the shady thorn, 

Defies the angler's art : 
My life was ance that careless stream, 

That wanton trout was I, 
But Love wi' unrelenting beam 

Has scorchM my fountains dry. 

III. 

The little floweret's peaceful lot. 

In yonder cliff" that grows, 
Which, save the linnet's flight, I wot, 

Nae ruder visit knows. 
Was mine, till Love has o'er me past. 

And blighted a' my bloom ; 
And now beneath the withering blast 

My youth and joy consume. 



IV. 

lavVock 



warbling 



The waken'd 
springs. 

And climbs the early sky. 
Winnowing blythe his dewy wings 

In Morning's rosy eye : 
As little reck't I Sorrow's power. 

Until the flowery snare 
C witching Love in luckless hour 

Made me the thrall o' care ! 



V. 

O, had my fate been Greenland snows 

Or Afric's burning zone, 
Wi' Man and Nature leagu'd my foes, 

So Peggy ne'er I 'd known ! 
The wretch, whose doom is ' hope nae 
mair,' 

What tongue his woes can tell. 
Within whose bosom, save Despair, 

Nae kinder spirits dwell ! 



O, THIS IS NO MY AIN LASSIE. 

["'This is No My Ain House,' puzzles 
me a good deal ; in fact, I think to change 
the old rhythm of the first, or chorus part 
of the tune, will have a good effect. I 
would have it something like the gallop of 
the following." (Burns to Thomson, June, 
1795-)] 

C/torus. 

O, this is no my ain lassie, 
Fair tho' the lassie be : 

Weel ken I my ain lassie — 
Kind love is in her e'e. 



I. 

I SEE a form, I see a face, 
Ye weel may wi' the fairest place : 
It wants to me the witching grace, 
The kind love that 's in her e'e. 



II. 

She 's bonie, blooming, straight, and 

tall, 
And lang has had my heart in thrall ; 
And ay it charms my very saul. 
The kind love that's in the e'e. 



III. . 

A thief sae pawkie is my Jean, 
To steal a blink by a' unseen ! 
But gleg as light are lover's een. 
When kind love is in the e'e. 



O, WHAT YE WHA THAT LO'ES ME. — SCOTS, WHA HAE. 315 



IV. 



It may escape the courtly sparks, 
It may escape the learned clerks ; 
But v/ell the watching lover marks 
The kind love that *s in her e'e. 



Chories. 

O, this is no my ain lassie, 
Fair tho' the lassie be : 

Weel ken I my ain lassie — 
Kind love is in her e'e. 



O, WAT YE WHA THAT 
LO'ES ME. 

[Sent to Mr. Cleghorn, in January, 1796, 
after an illness of the poet's.] 

Chorus, 

O, that 's the lassie o' my heart, 

My lassie ever dearer ! 
O, that's the queen o* womankind, 

And ne^er a ane to peer her ! 



O, WAT ye wha that lo'es me, 
And has my heart a keeping? 

O, sw^eet is she that lo'es me 
As dews o* summer weeping, 
In tears the rosebuds steeping ! 



II. 

If thou shalt meet a lassie 

In grace and beauty charming, 

That e'en thy chosen lassie, 

Erewhile thy breast sae warming. 
Had ne'er sic powers alarming : — 



III. 

If thou hadst heard her talking 

(And thy attention's plighted). 
That ilka body talking 



But her by thee is slighted, 
And thou art all-delighted : — 



IV. 

If thou hast met this fair one. 
When frae her thou hast parted, 

If every other fair one 

But her thou hast deserted, 
And thou art broken-hearted : — 



Chorus, 

O, that 's the lassie o' my heart, 

My lassie ever dearer ! 
O, that 's the queen o' womankind, 

And ne'er a ane to peer her ! 



SCOTS, WHA HAE. 

[Varying accounts are given of the time 
and circumstances of the origin of this song. 
John Syme connects it with a tour with 
Burns in Galloway in July, 1793: "I told 
you that in the midst of the storm on the 
wilds of Kenmure, Burns was rapt in medi- 
tation. What do you think he was about? 
He was charging the English army along 
with Bruce at Bannockburn. He was en- 
gaged in the same manner on our ride from 
St. Mary's Isle, and I did not disturb him. 
Next day he produced me the following 
address of Bruce to his troops, and gave 
me a copy for Dalzell." Burns tells a dif- 
ferent tale. After some remarks to Thomson 
(Aug. or Sept., 1793) on the old air " Hey 
Tutti Taiti," and on the tradition that " it 
was Robert Bruce's march at the battle of 
Bannockburn," he introduces " Scots Wha 
Hae : " " This thought, in my yesternight's 
evening walk, roused me to a pitch of en- 
thusiasm on the theme of liberty and inde- 
pendence, which I threw into a kind of 
Scots ode, fitted to the air, that one might 
suppose to be the gallant royal Scot's ad- 
dress to his heroic followers on that event- 
ful morning." The two statements are 
irreconcilable ; and we must conclude either 
that Syme misdated the tour, and that the 
" yesternight " of Burns was the night of his 
return to Dumfries, or that Burns did not 
give Syme a copy until some time after his 
return, and that', like some other circum- 



3i6 



THEIR GROVES O' SWEET MYRTLE. — THINE AM I. 



stances he was pleased to father, his "yes- 
ternight's evening walk " need not be literally 
interpreted.] 



Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled, 
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led, 
Welcome to your gory bed 
Or to victorie ! 



II. 

Now 's the day, and now 's the hour : 
See the front o' battle lour, 
See approach proud Edward's power — 
Chains and slaverie ! 



III. 

Wha will be a traitor knave? 
Wha can fill a coward's grave? 
Wha sae base as be a slave ? — 

Let him turn, and flee ! 

IV. 

Wha for Scotland's King and Law 
Freedom's sword will strongly draw. 
Freeman stand or freeman fa\ 
Let him follow me ! 



By Oppression's woes and pains, 
By your sons in servile chains, 
We will drain our dearest veins 

But they shall be free ! 

VI. 

Lay the proud usurpers low ! 
Tyrants fall in every foe ! 
Liberty 's in every blow ! 

Let us do, or die ! 



THEIR GROVES O' 
MYRTLE. 



SWEET 



[" The Irish air, ' Humours of Glen,' is a 
great favorite of mine ; and as, except the 
silly verses in ' The Poor Soldier,' there are 



not any decent words for it, I have written 
for it as follows." (Burns to Thomson, 
April, 1795-)] 



Their groves o' sweet myrtle let 
foreign lands reckon. 
Where bright -beaming summers 
exalt the perfume ! 
Far dearer to me yon lone glen o' 
green breckan, 
Wi' the burn stealing under the 
lang, yellow broom ; 
Far dearer to me are yon humble 
broom bowers. 
Where the blue-bell and gowan lurk 
lowly, unseen ; 
For there, lightly tripping among the 
wild flowers, 
A-list'ning the linnet, aft wanders 
my Jean. 

II. 

Tho' rich is the breeze in their gay, 
sunny vaUies, 
And cauld Caledonia's blast on the 
wave, 
Their sweet-scented woodlands that 
skirt the proud palace. 
What are they ? — The haunt of the 
tyrant and slave ! 
The slave's spicy forests and gold- 
bubbling fountains 
The brave Caledonian views wi' 
disdain : 
He wanders as free as the winds of 
his mountains, 
Save Love's willing fetters — the 
chains o' his Jean. 



THINE AM I. 

[Intended as English words to " The 
Quaker's Wife." Burns afterwards intro- 
duced " Chloris " into the song.] 



Thine am I, my faithful Fair, 
Thine my lovely Nancy ! 



THOU HAST LEFT ME EVER, JAMIE. — HIGHLAND MARY. 317 



Ev'ry pulse along my veins, 

Ev'ry roving fancy ! 
To thy bosom lay my heart 

There to throb and languish. 
Tho' despair had wrung its core, 

That would heal its anguish. 

II. 

Fake away those rosy lips 

Rich with balmy treasure ! 
Turn away thine eyes of love, 

Lest I die with pleasure ! 
What is life when wanting love? 

Night without a morning ! 
Love the cloudless summer^s sun, 

Nature gay adorning. 



THOU HAST LEFT ME EVER, 
JAMIE. 

[" I do not give these verses for any 
merit they have. I composed them at the 
time in which ' Patie Allan's mither de'ed ' 
— that was 'about the back o' midnight' — 
and by the leeside of a bowl of punch, which 
had overset every mortal in company except 
the Hautbois and the Muse." (Burns to 
Thomson, September, 1793.)] 

I. 

Thou hast left me ever, Jamie, 

Thou hast left me ever ! 
Thou hast left me ever, Jamie, 

Thou hast left me ever I 
Aften hast thou vow'd that Death 

Only should us sever ; 
Now^ thou 'st left thy lass for ay — 

I maun see thee never, Jamie, 

1 11 see thee never ! 



II. 

Thou hast me forsaken, Jamie, 
Thou hast me forsaken ! 

Thou hast me forsaken, Jamie, 
Thou hast me forsaken ! 

Thou canst love another jo. 
While my heart is breaking. 



Soon my weary een I '11 close. 
Never mair to waken, Jamie, 
Never mair to waken ! 



HIGHLAND MARY. 

["The foregoing song pleases myself; I 
think it is in my happiest manner; you will 
see at first glance that it suits the air. The 
subject of the song is one of the most inter- 
esting passages of my youthful days ; and I 
own that I would be much flattered to see 
the verses set to an air which would ensure 
celebrity. Perhaps, after all, 't is the still 
glowing prejudice of my heart that throws 
a borrowed lustre over the merits of the 
composition," (Burns to Thomson, Nov. 
14, 1792.)] 



Ye banks and braes and streams 
around 

The castle o^ Montgomery, 
Green be your woods, and fair your 
flowers. 

Your waters never drumlie ! 
There Summer first unfald her robes. 

And there the langest tarry ! 
For there I took the last fareweel 

O' my sw^et Highland Mary ! 

II. 

How sweetly bloom'd the gay, green 
birk, 

How rich the hawthorn's blossom. 
As underneath their fragrant shade 

I clasp'd her to my bosom ! 
The golden hours on angel wings 

Flew o'er me and my dearie : 
For dear to me as light and life 

Was my sweet Highland Mary. 

III. 

Wi' monie a vow and lockM embrace 
Our parting was fu' tender ; 

And, pledging aft to meet again. 
We tore oursels asunder. 

But O, fell Death's untimely frost. 
That nipt my flower sae early ! 



3i8 MY CHLORIS, MARK. — FAIREST MAID ON DEVON BANKS. 



Now green's the sod, and cauld's the 

clay, 
• That wraps my Highland Mary ! 



IV. 



O, pale, pale now, those rosy lips 

I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly ; 
And closed for ay, the sparkling 



glance 



That dwalt on me sae kindly ; 
And mouldering now in silent dust 

That heart that lo'ed me dearly ! 
But still within my bosom's core 

Shall live my Highland Mary. 



MY CHLORIS, MARK. 

[" On my visit the other day to my fair 
Chloris (that is the poetic name of the lovely 
goddess of my inspiration) she suggested 
an idea which on my return from the visit I 
wrought into the following song." (Burns 
to Thomson, November, 1794.)] 



My Chloris, mark how green the 
groves. 

The primrose banks how fair ! 
The balmy gales awake the flowers, 

And wave thy flaxen hair. 

II. 

The lavVock shuns the palace gay. 
And o'er the cottage sings : 

For Nature smiles as sweet, I ween, 
To shepherds as to kings. 

III. 

Let minstrels sweep the skilfu' string 

In lordly, lighted ha* : 
The shepherd stops his simple reed, 

Blythe in the birken shaw. 

IV. 

The princely revel may survey 
Our rustic dance wi' scorn ; 

But are their hearts as light as ours 
Beneath the milk-white thorn? 



V. 

The shepherd in the flowery glen 
In shepherd's phrase will woo : 

The courtier tells a finer tale — 
But is his heart as true? 

VI. 

Here wild-wood flowers I Ve pu'd, to 
deck 
That spotless breast o' thine : 
The courtier's gems may witness 
love — 
But *t is na love like mine ! 



FAIREST MAID ON DEVON 
BANKS. 

[Burns's last song. " I tried my hand on 
' Rothiemurchie ' this morning. The meas- 
ure is so difficult that it is impossible to 
infuse much genius into the lines." (Burns 
to Thomson, July 12, 1796.)] 

Chorals. 

Fairest maid on Devon banks. 
Crystal Devon, winding Devon, 

Wilt thou lay that frown aside, 
And smile as thou wert wont to do? 



Full well thou know'st I love thee 

dear — 
Couldst thou to malice lend an ear! 
O, did not Love exclaim — ' Forbear, 
Nor use a faithful lover so ! ' 

II. 
Then come, thou fairest of the fair, 
Those wonted smiles, O, let me share. 
And by thy beauteous self I swear 
No love but thine my heart shall 
know ! 

Chorus. 

Fairest maid on Devon banks. 
Crystal Devon, winding Devon, 

Wilt thou lay that frown aside. 
And smile as thou wert wont to do! 



LONG, LONG THE NIGHT. 



319 



LASSIE Wr THE LINT-WHITE 
LOCKS. 

[The " Chloris," who did duty as Barns's 
Muse for some time after his break with 
Maria Jiiddell, was the daughter of William 
Lorimer. She was unfortunate in her 
married relations, and her misfortunes so 
touched the poet that he became exceed- 
ingly enamoured of her.] 

Chorus. 

Lassie wi' the lint-white locks, 
Bonie lassie, artless lassie, 

Wilt thou wi' me tent the flocks — 
Wilt thou be my dearie, O ? 

I. 

Now Nature deeds the flowery lea, 
And 2i is young and sweet like thee, 
O, wilt thou share its joys wi' me, 
And say thou 'it be my dearie, O t 

II. 

The primrose bank, the wimpling 

burn, 
The cuckoo on the milk-white thorn. 
The wanton lambs at early morn 
Shall welcome thee, my dearie, O. 

III. 

And when the welcome simmer 

shower 
Has cheer'd ilk drooping little flower. 
We '11 to the breathing woodbine- 
bower 
At sultry noon, my dearie, O. 



IV. 



When Cynthia lights wi' silver ray 
The weary shearer's hameward way. 
Thro' yellow waving fields we '11 stray, 
And talk o' love, my dearie, O. 



V. 



And when the howHng wintry blast 
Disturbs my lassie's midnight rest. 



Enclasped to my faithfu' breast, 
I '11 comfort thee, my dearie, O. 

Chorus. 

Lassie wi' the lint-white locks, 
Bonie lassie, artless lassie, 

Wilt thou wi' me tent the flocks 
Wilt thou be my dearie, O t 



LONG, LONG THE NIGHT. 

[A song on Chloris Being 111. " It 
appears that Mrs. Burns was not jealous 
of Chloris. A letter of Burns's avers that 
she asked Chloris to dinner." — Andrew 
Lang.] 

Chortis. 

Long, long the night, 

Heavy comes the morrow, 

While my soul's delight 
Is on her bed of sorrow. 



I. 

Can I cease to care, 
Can I cease to languish, 

While my darling fair 

Is on the couch of anguish ! 



II. 



EvVy hope is fled, 

Ev'ry fear is terror : 
Slumber e'en I dread, 

Ev'ry dream is horror. 

III. 

Hear me, Powers Divine : 

O, in pity, hear me ! 
Take aught else of mine, 

But my Chloris spare me ! 

Chorus. 

Long, long the night. 

Heavy comes the morrow, 

While my soul's delight 
Is on her bed of sorrow 



320 



LOGAN WATER. — YON ROSY BRIER. 



LOGAN WATER. 

[The refrain of an old ballad. Burns 
says : " If I have done anything like justice 
to my feelings, the following song, com- 
posed in three-quarters of an hour's lucu- 
brations in my elbow-chair, ought to have 
some merit."] 



O Logan, sweetly didst thou glide 
That day I was my Willie's bride, 
And years sin syne hae o'er us run 
Like Logan to the simmer sun. 
But now thy flowery banks appear 
Like drumlie winter, dark and drear, 
While my dear lad maun face his 

faes 
Far, far frae me and Logan braes. 

II. 

Again the merry month of May 
Has made our hills and valHes gay ; 
The birds rejoice in leafy bowers, 
The bees hum round the breathing 

flowers ; 
Blythe Morning lifts his rosy eye. 
And Evening's tears are tears o' joy : 
My soul delightless a' surveys. 
While Willie's far frae Logan braes. 



III. 

Within yon milk-white hawthorn 

bush, 
Amang her nestlings sits the thrush : 
Her faithfu' mate will share her toil. 
Or wi' his song her cares beguile. 
But I wi' my sweet nurslings here, 
Nae mate to help, nae mate to cheer. 
Pass widow'd nights and joyless days, 
Willie Willie 's far frae Logan braes. 

IV. 

O, wae upon you, Men o' State, 
That brethren rouse in deadly hate ! 
As ye make monie a fond heart 

mourn, 
Sae may it on your heads return ! 



Ye mindna 'mid your cruel joys 
The widow's tears, the orphan's cries ; 
But soon may peace bring happy 

days, 
And Willie hame to Logan braes ! 



YON ROSY BRIER. 

[Sent to Thomson in August, 1795.I 



O, BONIE was yon rosy brier 

That blooms sae far frae haunt o' 
man, 

And bonie she — and ah, how dear ! — 
It shaded frae the e'enin sun ! 



II. 

Yon rosebuds in the morning dew. 



How 



pure 



the leaves sae 



But purer w^as the lover's vow. 
They witnessed in their shade yes- 
treen. 



Ill, 



All in its rude and prickly bower. 
That crimson rose how sweet and 
fair !^ 

But love is far a sweeter flower 
Amid life's thorny path o' care. 



IV. 

The pathless wild and wimpling burn, 
Wi' Chloris in my arms, be mine. 

And I the warld nor wish nor scorn — . 
Its joys and griefs alike resign ! 



WHERE ARE THE JOYS. 

["'Saw Ye My Father?' is one of m) 
greatest favorites. The evening before las' 
I wandered out, and began a tender song 



BEHOLD THE HOUR. — FORLORN MY LOVE. 



321 



in what 1 think is its native style." (Burns 
to Thomson, September, 1793)] 



Where are the joys I hae met in 
the morning, 
That danc'd to the lark's early 
sang ? 
Where is the peace that awaited my 
wandering 
At e'ening the wild-woods amang ? 



II. 

Nae mair a-winding the course o' 
yon river 
And marking sweet flowerets sae 
fair, 
Nae mair I trace the light footsteps 
o' Pleasure, 
But Sorrow and sad-sighing Care. 

III. 

Is it that Summer's forsaken our 

vallies, . 
And grim, surly Winter is near? 
No, no, the bees humming round the 

gay roses 
Proclaim it the pride o' the year. 

IV. 

Fain wad I hide what I fear to dis- 
cover. 
Yet lang, lang, too well hae I 
known : 
A' that has caused the wreck in my 
bosom 
Is Jenny, fair Jenny alone ! 



V. 

Time cannot aid me, my griefs are 

immortal, 

Not Hope dare a comfort bestow. 

Come then, enamored and fond of my 

anguish, 

Enjoyment I '11 seek in my woe ! 

Y 



BEHOLD THE HOUR. 

[" The following song I have composed 
for 'Oran Gaoil,' the Highland air that you 
tell me in your last you have resolved to 
give a place in your book. I have this 
moment finished the song, so you have it 
glowing from the mint. If it suit you, well ! 
if not, 't is also well ! " (Burns to Thomson, 
September, 1793.)] 

I. 

Behold the hour, the boat arrive ! 
Thou goest, the darling of my 
heart ! 
Sever'd from thee, can I survive? 
But Fate has wilPd and we must 
part. 
I '11 often greet the surging swell. 

Yon distant isle will often hail : — 
' E'en here I took the last farewell ; 
There, latest mark'd her vanish'd 
sail.' 

II. 

Along the solitary shore. 

While flitting sea-fowl round me 
cry. 
Across the rolling, dashing roar, 

I '11 westw^ard turn my wistful eye : — 

' Happy, thou Indian grove,' I '11 say, 

' Where now mv Nancy's path may 

be! 

While thro' thy sweets she loves to 

stray, 

O, tell me, does she muse on me ? ' 



FORLORN MY LOVE. 

[" How do you like the foregoing ? I 
have written it within this hour; so much 
for the speed of my Pegasus, but what say 
you to his bottom f " (Burns to Thomson, 
May, 1795O] 

Chorus, 

O, wert thou, love, but near me, 
But near, near, near me. 
How kindly thou would cheer me, 
And mingle sighs with mine, love I 



322 



CA' THE YOWES. — HOW CAN MY POOR HEART. 



I. 



Forlorn my love, no comfort near. 
Far, far from thee I wander here ; 
Far, far from thee, the fate severe, 
At which I most repine, love. 



II. 



Around me scowls a wintry sky. 
Blasting each bud of hope and joy. 
And shelter, shade, nor home have I 
Save in these arms of thine, love. 



III. 



Cold alterM friendship's cruel part. 
To poison Fortune's ruthless dart ! 
Let me not break thy faithful heart. 
And say that fate is mine, love ! 



IV. 

But, dreary tho' the moments fleet, 
O, let me think we yet shall meet ! 
That only ray of solace sweet 
Can on thy Chloris shine, love! 

Choriis, 

O, wert thou, love, but near me, 
But near, near, near me. 
How kindly thou would cheer me. 
And mingle sighs with mine, love! 



CA' THE YOWES TO THE 
KNOWES. 

SECOND SET. 

[The chorus from an older song. (See 
P- 245-)] 

CJiortis. 

Ca' the yowes to the knowes, 
Ca' them where the heather grows, 
Ca' them where the burnie rowes. 
My bonie dearie. 



I. 



Hark, the mavis' evening sang 
Sounding Clouden's woods amang 
Then a-faulding let us gang, 
My bonie dearie. 



II. 



We '11 gae down by Clouden side. 
Thro' the hazels, spreading wide 
O'er the waves that sweetly "glide 
To the moon sae clearly. 



III. 



Yonder Clouden's silent towers 
Where, at moonshine's midnight 

hours. 
O'er the dewy bending flowers 
Fairies dance sae cheery. 

IV. 

Ghaist nor bogle shalt thou fear — 
Thou 'rt to Love and Heav'n sae dear 
Nocht of ill may come thee near, 
My bonie dearie. 

Chorus, 

Ca' the yowes to the knowes, 
Ca' them where the heather grows, 
Ca' them where the burnie rowes, 
My bonie dearie. 



HOW CAN MY POOR HEART. 

[Thomson did not think this one of 
Burns's " happiest productions," and told 
him so. To which Burns repHed : " Mak- 
ing a poem is Hke begetting a son; you 
cannot know whether you have a wise man 
or a fool, until you produce him to the world 
and try him."] 

I. 

How can my poor heart be glad 
When absent from my sailor lad? 
How can I the thought forego — 
He's on the seas to meet the foe? 
Let me wander, let me rove. 
Still my heart is with my love. 



IS THERE FOR HONEST POVERTY. 



323 



Nightly dreams and thoughts by day 
Are with him that 's far away. 
On the seas and far away, 
On stormy seas and far away — 
Nightly dreams and thoughts by 

day, 
Are ay with him that 's far away. 



II. 

When in summer noon I faint, 
As weary flocks around me pant. 
Haply in this scorching sun 
My sailor's thund'ring at his gun. 
Bullets, spare my only joy ! 
Bullets, spare my darling boy ! 
Fate, do with me what you may. 
Spare but him that 's far away ! 
On the seas and far away, 
On stormy seas and far away — 
Fate, do with me what you may. 
Spare but him that 's far away ! 



III. 

At the starless, midnight hour 
When Winter rules with boundless 

power. 
As the storms the forests tear. 
And thunders rend the howling air, 
Listening to the doubling roar 
Surging on the rocky shore, 
All I can — I weep and pray 
For his weal that 's far away. 
On the seas and far away. 
On stormy seas and far away, 
All I can — I weep and pray 
For his weal that 's far away. 



IV. 

Peace, thy olive wand extend 
And bid wild War his ravage end ; 
Man with brother man to meet. 
And as brother kindly greet! 
Then may Heaven with prosperous 

gales 
Fill my sailor's welcome sails, 
To my arms their charge convey. 
My dear lad that 's far away ! 



On the seas and far away, 
On stormy seas and far away, 
To my arms their charge convey, 
My dear lad that 's far away ! 



IS THERE FOR HONEST 
POVERTY. 

[This famous song is very plainly an ef- 
fect of the writer's sympathies with the spirit 
and the fact of the French Revolution, and 
of that estrangement from wealthier loyalist 
friends with which his expression of these 
sympathies had been visited.] 



I. 

Is there for honest poverty 

That hings his head, an' a' that? 
The coward slave, we pass him by- — 

We dare be poor for a' that ! 
For a' that, an' a' that. 

Our toils obscure, an' a' that, 
The rank is but the guinea's stamp, 

The man's the gow^d for a' that. 



II. 

What though on hamely fare we dine. 

Wear hoddin grey, an' a' that ? 
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their 
wine — 

A man 's a man for a' that. 
For a' that, an' a' that, 

Their tinsel show, an' a' that. 
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor, 

Is king o' men for a' that. 



III. 

Ye see yon birkie ca'd ' a lord,' 
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that? 

Tho' hundreds worship at his word- 
He 's but a cuif for a' that. 

For a' that, an' a' that, 

His ribband, star, an' a' that. 

The man o' independent mind, 
He looks an' laughs at a' that. 



324 MARK YONDER POMP. — O, LET ME IN THIS AE NIGHT. 



IV. 

A prince can mak a belted knight, 

A marquis, duke, an' a^ that ! 
But an honest man's aboon his 



might 



that! 



Guid faith, he mauna fa' 
For a' that, an' a' that, 

Their dignities, an' a' that. 
The pith o' sense an' pride o' worth 

Are higher rank than a' that. 



V. 

Then let us pray that come it may 

(As come it will for a' that) 
That Sense and Worth o'er a' 
earth 

Shall bear the gree an' a' that ! 
For a' that, an' a' that, 

It 's comin yet for a' that. 
That man to man the world o'er 

Shall brithers be for a' that. 



the 



MARK YONDER POMP. 

[A " reverie " on Chloris. " Well, this is 
not amiss." (Burns to Thomson, May, 
1795-)] 

I. 

Mark yonder pomp of costly fashion 
Round the wealthy, titled bride ! 

But, when compared with real pas- 
sion, 
Poor is all that princely pride. 



n. 

What are the showy treasures ? 
What are the noisy pleasures ? 

The gay, gaudy glare of vanity and 
art ! 
The polish'd jewel's blaze 
May draw the wondering gaze, 
And courtly grandeur bright 
The fancy may delight, 

But never, never can come near the 
heart I 



III. 



But did you see my dearest Chloris 

In simplicity's array, 
Lovely as yonder sweet opening 
flower is, 

Shrinking from the gaze of day : 

IV. 

O, then, the heart alarming 
And all resistless charming. 

In love's delightful fetters she claims 
the willing soul ! 
Ambition would disown 
The world's imperial crown ! 
Ev'n Avarice would deny 
His worshipp'd deity, 

And feel thro' every vein love's rap- 
tures roll ! 



O, LET ME IN THIS AE 
NIGHT. 

[Founded on old ballads. Burns made 
four trials before he produced this song, 
which he sent to Thomson in February, 

I795-] 

Chor7is. 

O, let me in this ae night, 
This ae, ae, ae night ! 
O, let me in this ae night. 
And rise, and let me in ! 



O LASSIE, are ye sleepin yet. 
Or are ye waukin, I wad wit ? 
For Love has bound me hand an' 
fit. 
And I would fain be in, jo. 

II. 

Thou hear'st the winter wind an' 

weet : 
Nae star blinks thro' the driving 

sleet! 
Tak pity on my weary feet, 

And shield me frae the rain, jo. 



O PHILLY, HAPPY BE THAT DAY. 



125 



III. 

The bitter blast that round me blaws, 
Unheeded howls, unheeded fa's : 
The cauldness o' thy heart *s the 
cause 
Of a' my care and pine, jo. 

CJwrtcs, 



O, let me in this ae night, 
This ae. ae. ae night ! 
O, let me in this ae night, 
And rise and let me in ! 



Her Answer. 



Chorus, 



I tell you now this ae night, 
This ae, ae. ae night, 
And ance for a' this ae night, 
I winna let ye in, jo. 



O. TELL me na o' wind an' rain, 

Upbraid na me wi' cauld disdain, 

Gae back the gate ye cam again. 



I winna let ye in. jo! 



II. 

The snellest blast at mirkest hours. 
That round the pathless wand'rer 

pours 
Is nocht to what poor she endures. 
That 's trusted faithless man, jo. 

III. 

The sweetest flower that deck'd the 

mead. 
Now trodden like the vilest weed — 
Let simple maid the lesson read ! 
The weird may be her ain, jo. 

IV. 

The bird that charm'd his summer 

day. 
And now the cruel fowler's prey, 



Let that to witless woman say : — 
• The gratefu' heart of man,^ jo. 

Chorus. 

I tell you now this ae night, 
This ae, ae, ae night. 
And ance for a' this ae night, 
I winna let ye in, jo. 



O 



PHILLY, HAPPY 
DAY. 



BE THAT 



[Bums began this song in September, 
1794. He finished it in November, " though 
a keen blowing frost," in his walk before 
breakfast. The portion written in Septem- 
ber consisted of stanzas IV. and vj 



Chorus. 



the 



joys 



that 



He and She. For 

gowd can gie. 

I dinna care a single flie ! 

r^^ < lad ) T , . ., ( lad > for 
The - 1 - 1 love s the - 1 

( lass ) ( lass > me. 

And that ^s mv ain dear ^^ ^^]7' \ 

( Philly. \ 



He. O Philly, happy be that day 
When, roving thro' the gathered 

hay. 
My youthfu' heart was stown 
away, 
And by thy charms, my Philly ! 
She. O \Villy, ay I bless the grove 
Where first I own'd my maiden 

love. 
Whilst thou did pledge the 
Powers above 
To be my ain dear Willy. 



II. 



He. 



As songsters of the early year 
Are ilka day mair sweet to hear, 
So ilka day to me mair dear 
And charming is my Philly. 



326 



O, WERE MY LOVE. — SLEEFST THOU. 



She. As on the brier the budding rose 
Still richer breathes, and fairer 

blows. 
So in my tender bosom grows 
The love I bear my Willy. 



III. 

He. The milder sun and bluer sky, 
That crown my harvest cares wi' 

Were ne'er sae welcome to my 
eye 
As is a sight o' Philly. 
She. The little sw^allow's wanton 
wing, ^ 
Tho' wafting o'er the flowery 

spring, 
Did ne'er to me sic tidings bring 
As meeting o' my Willy. 



IV. 

He* The bee, that thro' the sunny 
hour 
Sips nectar in the op'ning flower, 
Compar'd wi' my delight is poor 
Upon the lips o' Philly . 
She. The woodbine in the dewy 
weet, 
When ev'ning shades in silence 

meet, 
Is nocht sae fragrant or sae sweet 
As is a kiss o' Willy. 



He. Let Fortune's wheel at random 
rin. 
And fools may tyne, and knaves 

may win ! 
My thoughts are a' bound up on 
ane. 
And that 's my ain dear Philly. 
She. What 's a' the joys that gowd 
can gie? 
I dinna care a single flie ! 
The lad I.love 's the lad for me, 
And that 's my ain dear Willy. 



Choriis. 
He and She. For a' the joys that 



gowd can gie, 
I dinna care a single flie ! 



The 



\ lad 



lass 



Ilove'sthe|-[ 



jlad 



for 
me, 



And that 's my ain dear -j pi .J' )■ 



O, WERE MY LOVE. 

[Adapted by Burns from an old song, 
and sent to Thomson, June, 1793.] 

I. 

O, WERE my love yon lilac fair 

Wi' purple blossoms to the spring. 
And I a bird to shelter there. 

When wearied on my little wing, 
How 1 wad mourn when it was torn 

By Autumn wild and Winter rude ! 
But I wad sing on wanton wing, 

When youthfu' May its bloom 
renew'd. 

II. 

O, gin my love were yon red rose. 

That grows upon the castle wa', 
And I mysel a drap o' dew 

Into her bonie breast to fa', 
O, there, beyond expression blest, 

I 'd feast on beauty a' the night, 
Seal'd on her silk-saft faulds to rest, 

Till fley'd awa by Phoebus' light ! 



SLEEP'ST THOU. 

[Burns sent a- copy to Thomson, Oct. 19, 
1794, and a revised copy on Oct. 27.] 

I. 

Sleep'st thou, or wauk'st thou, fairest 
creature? 

Rosy Morn now lifts his eye. 
Numbering ilka bud, which Nature 

Waters wi' the tears o' joy. 



THERE WAS A LASS. 



327 



Now to the streaming fountain 

Or up the heathy mountain 
The hart, hind, and roe, freely, wildly- 
wanton stray : 

In twining hazel bowers 

His lay the linnet pours ; 

The laverock to the sky 

Ascends wi' sangs o' joy, 
While the sun and thou arise to bless 
the day ! 

II. 

Phoebus, gilding the brow of morning, 
Banishes ilk darksome shade. 

Nature gladdening and adorning : 
Such to me my lovely maid ! 
W^hen frae my Chloris parted. 
Sad, cheerless, broken-hearted. 

The night's gloomy shades, cloudy, 
dark, o'ercast my sky ; 
But when she charms my sight 
In pride of Beauty's light, 
W' hen thro* my very heart 
Her beaming glories dart, 

'Tis then — 'tis then I wake to life 
and joy ! 



VARIATION 

On the preceding poem, as given in the 
Chambers Edition. 

Now to the streaming fountain, 

Or up the heathy mountain 
The hart, hind, and roe, freely, wildly- 
wanton stray. 

In twining hazel bowers 

His lay the linnet pours ; 

The lavrock, to the sky 

Ascends wi' sangs o' joy, 
While the sun and thou arise to bless 
the dav. 



When frae my Chloris parted. 
Sad, cheerless, broken-hearted, 
The nisfht's gloomv shades, cloudv 
dark, o'ercast my sky : 
But when she charms my sight. 
In pride of Beauty's light ; 



WHien thro' my very heart 
Her beaming glories dart ; 
'T is then — 't is then I wake to life 
and joy ! 



THERE WAS A LASS. 

[The heroine was Jean M'Murdo, 
daughter of Burns's friend, John M'Murdo. 
The finished ballad was sent to Thomson, 
July, 1793.] 



There was a lass, and she was fair ! 

At kirk and market to be seen 
When a' our fairest maids were met, 

The fairest maid was bonie Jean. 



n. 



And ay she wrought her country wark, 
And ay she sang sae merrilie : 

The blythest bird upon the bush 
Had ne'er a lighter heart than she! 



III. 



But hawks will rob the tender joys, 

That bless the little lintwhite's nest, 
And frost will blight the fairest 
flowers, 
And love will break the soundest 
rest. 



IV. 

Young Robie was the brawest lad, 
The flower and pride of a' the glen, 

And he had owsen, sheep, and kye, 
And wanton naigies nine or ten. 



He gaed wi' Jeanie to the tryste, 
He danc'd wi' Jeanie on the down, 

And, lang ere witless Jeanie wist. 
Her heart was tint, her peace was 
stown I 



328 



THE LEA-RIG. — MY WIFE'S A WINSOME WEE THING. 



dewy 



VI. 

As in the bosom of the stream 
The moon-beam dwells at 
e'en, 

So, trembling pure, was tender love 
Within the breast of bonie Jean. 

VII. 

And now she works her country's 
wark, 

And ay she sighs wi' care and pain, 
Yet wist na what her ail might be, 

Or what wad make her weel again. 

VIII. . 

But did na Jeanie's heart loup light, 
And did na joy blink in her e'e, 

As Robie tauld a tale o^ love 
Ae e'enin on the lily lea? 

IX. 

While monie a bird sang sweet o' 
love, 
And monie a flower blooms o'er 
the dale, 
His cheek to hers he aft did lay. 
And whisper'd thus his tender 
tale : — 



^ O Jeanie fair, I lo'e thee dear. 

O, canst thou think to fancy me ? 
Or wilt thou leave thy mammie's cot. 

And learn to tent the farms wi' me ? 



XI. 

'At barn or byre thou shalt na drudge. 
Or naething else to trouble thee. 

But stray amang the heather-bells, 
And tent the waving corn wi' me.' 

XII. 

Now what could artless Jeanie do? 

She had nae will to say him na! 
At length she blush'd a sweet consent, 

And love was ay between them twa. 



THE LEA-RIG. 

[Suggested by an older song. Fergus- 
son also wrote a song to this refrain.] 



I. 

When o'er the hill the eastern star 

Tells bughtin time is near, my jo, 
And owsen frae the furrow'd field 

Return sae dowf and weary, O, 
Down by the burn, where scented 
birks 

Wi' dew are hangin clear, my jo, 
I '11 meet thee on the lea-rig, 

My ain kind dearie, O. 



II. 



At midnight hour in mirkest glen 

I 'd rove, and ne'er be eerie, O, 
If thro' that glen I gaed to thee, 

My ain kind dearie, O ! 
Altho' the night were ne'er sae wild, 

And I were ne'er sae weary, O, 
I "11 meet thee on the lea-rig. 

My ain kind dearie, O. 



III. 

The hunter lo'es the morning sun 
To rouse the mountain deer, myjo', 

At noon the fisher takes the glen 
Adown the burn to steer, my jo : 

Gie me the hour o' gloamin grey — 
It maks my heart sae cheery, O, 

To meet thee on the lea-rio^ 



My ain kind dearie, O 



to? 



MY WIFE'S A WINSOME WEE 
THING. 

["The following I made extempore; and 
though, on further study, I might give you 
something more profound, yet it might not 
suit the light-horse gallop of the air so well 
as this random cHnk." (Burns to Thom- 
soUj Nov. 8, 1792.)] 



MARY MORISON. — A RUINED FARMER. 



329 



Chorus, 

She is a winsome wee thing, 
She is a handsome wee thing, 
She is a lonesome wee thing, 
This sweet wee wife o' mine ! 



I NEVER saw a fairer, 
I never lo'ed a dearer. 
And neist my heart I '11 wear her, 
For fear my jewel tine. 

II. 

The warld's wrack, we share o 't ; 
The warstle and the care o 't, 
Wi' her I '11 blythely bear it. 
And think my lot divine. 

Chorus. 

She is a winsome wee thing, 
She is a handsome wee thing. 
She is a lo'esome wee thing. 
This sweet wee wife o' mine. 



MARY MORISON. 

[This little masterpiece of feeling and ex- 
pression was sent to Thomson, March 20, 
1793. Burns says of it: "The song pre- 
fixed is one of my juvenile works. I do 
not think it very remarkable either for its 



merits or demerits." Thomson suppressed 
it for twenty-five years. The heroine was 
probably Elison Begbie.] 



I. 

O Mary, at thy window be ! 

It is the wish'd, the trysted hour. 
Those smiles and glances let me see. 

That make the miser's treasure poor. 

How blythely wad I bide the stoure, 
A weary slave frae sun to sun. 

Could I the rich reward secure — 
The lovely Mary M orison ! 

II. 

Yestreen, when to the trembling string 
The dance gaed thro' the lighted ha'. 

To thee my fancy took its wing, 
I sat, but neither heard or saw : 
Tho' this was fair, and that was braw, 

And yon the toast of a' the town, 
I sigh'd and said amang them a' : — 

^ Ye are na Mary Morison ! ' 

III. 

O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace 

Wha for thy sake wad gladly die? 
Or canst thou break that heart of his 

Whase only faut is loving thee ? 

If love for love thou wilt na gie, 
At least be pity to me shown : 

A thought ungentle canna be 
The thought o' Mary Morison. 



MISCELLANEOUS SONGS. 



A RUINED FARMER. 

[Probably written during the crisis of 
William Burness's difficulties at Mount 
Oliphant. " The farm proved a ruinous 
bargain; and, to clench the curse, we fell 
into the hands of a factor, who sat for the 
picture I have drawn of one in my ' Tale of 
Two Dogs.'" (R. B.)] 

I. 

The sun he is sunk in the west, 
%A11 creatures retired to rest, 



While here. I sit, all sore beset 

With sorrow, grief, and woe : 
And it 's O fickle Fortune, O ! 



II. 



The prosperous man is asleep. 
Nor hears how the whirlwinds sweep ; 
But Misery and I must watch 
The surly tempests blow : 
And it 's O fickle Fortune^ O ! 



330 MONTGOMERIE'S PEGGY.— THE LASS OF CESSNOCK BANKS. 



Ill, 

There lies the dear Partner of my 

breast, 
Her cares for a moment at rest ! 
Must I see thee, my youthful pride, 
Thus brought so very low ? — 
And it ^s O fickle Fortune, O ! 



IV. 

There lie my sweet babies in her 

arms ; 
No anxious fear their little hearts 

alarms ; 
But for their sake my heart does 

ache, 
With many a bitter throe : 
And it 's O fickle Fortune, O ! 

V. 

I once was by Fortune carest, 
I once could relieve the distrest ; 
Now lifers poor support, hardly earn'd, 

My fate will scarce bestow : 
And it 's O fickle Fortune, O ! 

VI. 

No comfort, no comfort I have 1 
How welcome to me were the grave ! 
But then my wife and children dear — 

O, whither would they go ! 
And it 's O fickle Fortune, O ! 

VII. 

O, whither, O, whither shall I turn, 
All friendless, forsaken, forlorn? 
For in this world Rest or Pence 

I never more shall know : 
And it 's O fickle Fortune, O ! 



MONTGOMERIE'S PEGGY. 

[Peggy was a housekeeper at Coilsfield 
House in Burns's Tarbolton period.] 



Altho' my bed were in yon muir, 
Amang the heather, in my plaidie. 



Yet happy, happy would I be. 

Had I my dear Montgomerie's 
Peggy. 

II. 

When o'er the hill beat surly storms, 
And winter nights were dark and 
rainy, 
I 'd seek some dell, and in my arms 
I 'd shelter dear Montgomerie's 
Peggy. 

III. 

Were I a Baron proud and high. 
And horse and servants waiting 
ready. 
Then a' Hw^ad gie o' joy to me — 
The sharin't with Montgomerie^s 
Peggy. 



THE LASS OF CESSNOCK 
BANKS. 

[The heroine is supposed to have been 
Ehson Begbie, the daughter of a farmer in 
the parish of Galston, to whom Burns made 
what was probably his first offer of mar- 
riage.] 



On Cessnock banks a lassie dwells. 
Could I describe her shape and 
mien ! 

Our lassies a' she far excels — 

An' she has twa sparkling, rogueish 



een 



II. 



She's sweeter than the morning 
dawn, 
When rising Phoebus first is seen, 
And dew-drops twinkle o'er the 
lawn — 
An' she has twa sparkling, rogueish 
een ! 

III. 

She 's stately like yon youthful ash, 
That grows the cowslip braes be- 
tween, 



THE LASS OF CESSNOCK BANKS. 



331 



And drinks the stream with vigour 
fresh — 
An' she has twa sparkhng, rogueish 
een ! 

IV. 

She's spotless like the flow'ring 
thorn 
With flow'rs so white and leaves 
so green. 
When purest in the dewy morn — 
An' she has twa sparkling^ rogueish 
een ! 



Her looks are like the vernal May, 
When ev'ning Phoebus shines 
serene, 
While birds rejoice on every spray — 
An' she has twa sparkling, rogue- 
ish een ! 

VI. 

Her hair is like the curling mist, 
That climbs the mountain-sides at 
e'en. 
When flow'r-reviving rains are past — 
An' she has twa sparkling, rogueish 
een ! 

VII. 

Her forehead 's like the show'ry bow. 
When gleaming sunbeams inter- 
vene. 
And gild the distant mountain's 
brow — 
An' she has twa sparkhng, rogueish 
een ! 

VIII. 

Her cheeks are like yon crimson gem, 
The pride of all the flowery scene, 

Just opening on its thorny stem — 
An' she has twa sparkling, rogueish 
een ! 

IX. 

Her teeth are like the nightly snow. 
When pale the morning rises keen, 



While hid the murm'ring streamlets 
flow — 
An' she has twa sparkling, rogueish 
, een ! 

X. 

Her lips are like yon cherries ripe. 
That sunny walls from Boreas 
screen : 
They tempt the taste and charm the 
sight — 
An' she has twa sparkling, rogueish 
een ! 

XI. 

Her teeth are like a flock of sheep 

With fleeces newly washen clean, 
That slowly mount the rising steep — 
An' she has twa sparkling, rogueish 
een ! 

XII. 

Her breath is like the fragrant breeze, 

That gently stirs the blossom'd 

bean. 

When Phoebus sinks behind the 

seas — 

An' she has twa sparkling, rogueish 



een 



XIII. 



Her voice is like the ev'ning thrush. 
That sings on Cessnock banks 
unseen. 
While his mate sits nestling in the 
bush — 
An' she has twa sparkling, rogueish 
een ! 

XIV. 

But it 's not her air, her form, her 
face, 
Tho* matching Beauty's fabled 
Queen : 
'Tis the mind that shines in ev'ry 
grace — 
An' chiefly in her rogueish een ! 



332 THO' FICKLE FORTUNE. — MY FATHER WAS A FARMER. 



THO' FICKLE FORTUNE. 

[This piece " was an extempore under 
the pressure of a heavy train of misfortunes, 
which, indeed, threatened to undo me 
altogether." (R. B.)] 

I. 

Tho' fickle Fortune has deceived me 
(She promis'd fair, and performed 
but ill), 
Of mistress, friends, and wealth be- 
reaved me, 
Yet I bear a heart shall support me 
still. 

II. 

I '11 act with prudence as far as I 'm 
able ; 
But if success 1 must never find. 
Then come. Misfortune, I bid thee 
welcome — 
I ^11 meet thee with an undaunted 
mind ! 



RAGING FORTUNE. 

[Composed about the same time as 
"Tho" Fickle Fortune."] 



O, RAGING Fortune's withering blast 
Has laid my leaf full low ! 

O, raging Fortune's withering blast 
Has laid my leaf full low ! 



II. 

My stem w^as fair, my bud was gieen, 
My blossom sweet did blow ; 

The dew fell fresh, the sun rose mild, 
And made my branches grow. 



III. 

But luckless Fortune's 
storms 
Laid a' my blossoms low ! 



northern 



But luckless Fortune's northern 
storms 
Laid a' my blossoms low ! 



MY FATHER WAS A FARMER. 

[" The following song is a wild rhapsody, 
miserably deficient in versification, but as 
the sentiments arei the genuine feelings of 
my heart, for that reason I have a particular 
pleasure in conning it over." (R. B.) In- 
scribed in the " First Common Place Book," 
April, 1784.] 



My father was a farmer upon the 

Carrick border, O, 
And carefully he bred me in decency 

and order, O. 
He bade me act a manly part, though 

I had ne'er a farthing, O, 
For without an honest, manly heart 

no man was worth regarding, O. 

II. 

Then out into the world my course I 

did determine, O : 
Tho' to be rich was not my wish, yet 

to be great was charming, O. 
My talents they were not the worst, 

nor yet my education, O — 
Resolv'd was I at least to try to mend 

my situation, O. 



III. 



In 



many a way and vain essay 

courted Fortune's favour, O : 
Some cause unseen still stept between 

to frustrate each endeavour, O. 
Sometimes by foes I was o'erpower'd, 

sometimes by friends forsaken, O, 
And when my hope was at the top, I 

still was worst mistaken, O. 



IV. 

Then sore harassed and tir'd at last 
with Fortune's vain delusion, O, 

I dropt my schemes like idle dreams, 
and came to this conclusion, O : — 



I . 



O, LEAVE NOVELS. 



333 



The past was bad, and the future hid ; 

its good or ill untried, O, 
But the present hour was in my pow'r, 

and so I would enjoy it, O. 



V. 

No help, nor hope, nor view had I, 

nor person to befriend me, O ; 
So I must toil, and sweat, and broil, 

and labour to sustain me, O ! 
To plough and sow, to reap and mow, 

my father bred me early, O : 
For one, he said, to labour bred was a 

match for Fortune fairly, O. 



VI. 

Thus all obscure, unknown, and poor, 
thro' life I 'm doomed to wander, O, 

Till down my weary bones I lay in 
everlasting slumber, O. 

No view nor care, but shun whatever 
might breed me pain or sorrow, O, 

I live to-day as well 's I may, regard- 
less of to-morrow, O ! 



vn. 

But, cheerful still, I am as well as a 

monarch in a palace, O, 
Tho' Fortune's frown still hunts me 

down, with all her wonted 

malice, O : 
I make indeed my daily bread, but 

ne'er can make it farther. O, 
But, as daily bread is all I need, I do 

not much regard her, O. 



VIII. 

When sometimes by my labour I earn 

a little money, O, 
Some unforeseen misfortune comes 

gen'rally upon me, O : 
Mischance, mistake, or by neglect, or 

my good-natur'd folly, O — 
But. come what will, I *ve sworn it still, 

I *11 ne'er be melancholy, O. 



IX. 

All you who follow wealth and power 

with unremitting ardour. O, 
The more in this you look for bliss, you 

leave your view the farther, O. 
Had you the wealth Potosi boasts, or 

nations to adore you, O, 
A cheerful, honest-hearted clown I will 

prefer before you, O ! 



O, LEAVE NOVELS. 

[Burns never published this poem. He 
was " Rob Mossgiel" from 1784 to 1786.] 



O, LEAVE novels, ye Mauchline 
belles — 

Ye *re safer at your spinning-wheel ! 
Such witching books are baited hooks 

For rakish rooks like Rob Mossgiel. 



II. 

Your fine Tom Jones and Grandisojis 
They make your youthful fancies 
reel ! 
They heat your brains, and fire your 
veins. 
And then you 're prey for Rob 
Mossgiel. 

III. 

Beware a tongue that's smoothly 
hung, 

A heart that warmly seems to feel ! 
That feeling heart but acts a part — 

'Tis rakish art in Rob Mossgiel. 



IV. 

The frank address, the soft caress 
Are worse than poisoned darts of 
steel : 

The frank address and politesse 
Are all finesse in Rob Mossgiel. 



334 



THE MAUCHLINE LADY.— THERE WAS A LAD. 



THE MAUCHLINE LADY. 

[" Possibly the Mauchline belle of this 
snatch is Jean Armour, afterwards the poet's 
wife."] 

I. 

When first I came to Stewart Kyle, 
My mind it was na steady : 

Where'er I gaed, where'er 1 rade, 
A mistress still I had ay. 

II. 

But when I came roun' by Mauchline 
toun, 

Not dreadin anybody, 
My heart was caught, before I thought. 

And by a Mauchline lady. 



ONE NIGHT AS I DID WAN- 
DER. 



["A fragment, probably of May, 1785." 
— Andrew Lang. 



One night as I did wander, 

When corn begins to shoot, 
I sat me down to ponder 

Upon an auld tree-root : 
Auld Ayr ran by before me. 

And bickerM to the seas ; 
A cushat crooded o'er me, 

That echoed through the trees. 



THERE WAS A LAD. 

[Not published by Burns. The tune 
is an old one.] 

Chorus, 

Robin was a rovin boy, 

Rantin, rovin, rantin, rovin, 

Robin was a rovin boy, 
Rantin, rovin Robin ! 



I. 



There was a lad was born in Kyle, 
But whatna day o' whatna style, 
I doubt it 's hardly worth the while 
To be sae nice wi' Robin. 



II. 



year 



but 



Our monarch's hindmost 

ane 
Was five-and-twenty days begun, 
'T was then a blast o' Janwar' win' 
Blew hansel in on Robin. 

III. 

The gossip keekit in his loof, 

Quo' scho : — ^ Wha lives will see the 

proof. 
This waly boy will be nae coof : 
I think we '11 ca' him Robin. 

IV. 

' He '11 hae misfortunes great an' sma', 
But ay a heart aboon them a'. 
He 11 be a credit till us a' : 

be proud o' Robin ! 



^ But sure as three times three mak 

nine, 
I see by ilka score and line, 
This chap will dearly like our kin'. 
So leeze me on thee, Robin ! 



VI. 



^ Guid faith,' quo' scho, ^ I doubt you. 

stir. 
Ye gar the lasses lie aspar ; 
But twenty fauts ye may hae waur — 
So blessins on thee, Robin ! ' 

Chorus. 

Robin was a rovin boy, 

Rantin, rovin, rantin, rovin, 

Robin was a rovin boy, 
Rantin, rovin Robin ! 



WILL YE GO TO THE INDIES.— THE LASS O' BALLOCHMYLE. 335 



WILL YE GO TO THE INDIES, 
MY MARY. 



[" In my very early years, when I was 
thinking of going to the West Indies, I 
took the following farewell of a dear girl." 
(Burns to Thomson, October, 1792.) Prob- 
ably refers to Highland Mary.] 



Will ye go to the Indies, my Mar}-, 
And leave auld Scotia's shore? 

Will ye go to the Indies, my Mar)% 
Across th' Atlantic roar? 



O, sweet 



n. 

the 



lime and the 



And the apple on the pine : 
But a' the charms o* the Indies 
Can never equal thine. 



III. 

I hae sworn by the Heavens to my 
Mary, 
I hae sworn by the Heavens to be 
true, 
And sae may the Heavens forget me, 
When I forget my vow ! 



IV. 



O, plight me your faith, my Mar}', 
And plight.me your lily-white hand ! 

O, plight me your faith, my Mary, 
Before I leave Scotia's strand ! 



We hae plighted our troth, my Mary, 
In mutual affection to join : 

And curst be the cause that shall part 
us ! 
The hour and the moment o' time ! 



HER FLOWING LOCKS. 

[" If Miss Whitefoord is the heroine, she 
may well have admired the audacity of the 
singer." — ANDREW Lang.] 



I. 

Her flowing locks, the raven's wing, 
Adown her neck and bosom hing. 
How sweet unto that breast to cling. 
And round that neck entwine her ! 



n. 

Her lips are roses wat wi' dew — 
O, what a feast, her bonie mou ! 
Her cheeks a mair celestial hue, 
A crimson still diviner ! 



THE LASS O' BALLOCHMYLE. 

[" Sent to Miss Wilhelmina Alexander 
of Ballochmyle, who did not reply, though, 
when old, she was proud of the tribute. 
' You will easily see,' wrote Burns to Mrs. 
Stewart of Stair, ' the impropriety of expos- 
ing the song much, even in manuscript.' " 
— Andrew Lang.] 



I. 

'TwAS even: the dewy fields were 
green, 

On every blade the pearls hang. 
The zephyr wanton'd round the bean. 

And bore its fragrant sweets alang. 

In ev'ry glen the mavis sang. 
All Nature list ning seem'd the while. 

Except where greenwood echoes 
rang 
Amang the braes 0^ Ballochmyle. 



n. 

With careless step I onward stray'd, 
My heart rejoic'd in Nature's joy, 

When, musing in a lonely glade, 
A maiden fair I chanc'd to spy. 



336 



THE NIGHT WAS STILL. — MASONIC SONG. 



Her look was like the Morning's 
eye, 
Her air like Nature's vernal smile. 

Perfection vvhisper'd, passing by : — 
* Behold the lass o' Ballochmyle ! ' 



III. 



Fair is the morn in flowery May, 
And sweet is night in autmnn 
mild, 
When roving thro' the garden gay, 
Or wand'ring in the lonely wild ; 
But w^oman, Nature's darling child — 
There all her charms she does com- 
pile ! 
Even there her other works are 
foil'd 
By the bonie lass o' Ballochmyle. 

IV. 

O, had she been a country maid. 
And I the happy country swain, 

Tho' shelter'd in the lowest shed 
That ever rose on Scotia's plain. 
Thro' weary winter's wind and rain 

With joy, with rapture, I would toil. 
And nightly to my bosom strain 

The bonie lass o' Ballochmyle ! 

V. 

Then Pride might climb the slipp'ry 
steep, 
Where fame and honours lofty 
shine. 
And thirst of gold might tempt the 
deep, 
Or downward seek the Indian 

mine ! 
Give me the cot below the pine, 
To tend the flocks or till the soil. 
And ev'ry day have joys divine 
With the bonie lass o' Ballochmyle. 



THE NIGHT WAS STILL. 

[The manuscript was given to one of the 
daughters of Dr. Laurie of Newmilns ; and 
commemorates a dance — when Burns for 



the first time heard the spinet — in the manse 
of Newmilns, on the banks of Irvine.] 



The night was still, and o'er the hill 
The moon shone on the castle wa', 

The mavis sang, while dew-drops 
hang 
Around her on the castle wa' : 

II. 

Sae merrily they danc'd the ring 
Frae eenin' till the cock did craw, 

And ay the o'erword o' the spring 
Was : — ' Irvine's bairns are bonie 
a'!' 



MASONIC SONG. 

[Said to have been recited by Burns at 
his admission as an honorary member of 
the Kilwinning St. John's Lodge, Kilmar- 
nock, Oct. 26, 1786.J 



Ye sons of old Killie. assembled by 
WilHe 
To follow the noble vocation. 
Your thrifty old mother has scarce 
such another 
To sit in that honored station ! 
I 've little to say, but only to pray 
(As praying's the ton of your 
fashion) . 
A prayer from the Muse you well 
may excuse 
('Tis seldom her favourite pas- 
sion) : — • 

~ II. 

' Ye Powers who preside o'er the wind 
and the tide. 
Who marked each element's border, 
Who formed this frame with benefi- 
cent aim, 
Whose sovereign statute is order. 
Within this dear mansion may way- 
ward Contention 



THE BONIE MOOR-HEN. — HERE'S A BOTTLE. 



337 



Or withered Envy ne'er enter ! 
May Secrecy round be the mystical 
bound. 
And brotherly Love be the cen- 
tre ! ' 



THE BONIE MOOR-HEN. 

[An adaptation from an old song. A 
favorite ditty of the old ballads.] 

Chorus, 

I rede you, beware at the hunting, 
young men ! 

I rede you, beware at the hunting, 
young men ! 

Take some on the wing, and some as 
they spring, 

But cannily steal on a bonie moor- 
hen. 



The heather was blooming, the mead- 
ows were mawn. 

Our lads gaed a-hunting ae day at 
the dawn, 

O'er moors and o'er mosses and 
monie a glen : 

At length they discovered a bonie 
moor-hen. 

II. 

Sweet-brushing the dew from the 

brown heather bells. 
Her colours betray'd her on yon 

mossy fells ! 
Her plumage outlustred the pride o' 

the spring. 
And O, as she wanton'd sae gay on 

the wing, 

III. 

Auld Phoebus himseP, as he peepM 

o'er the hill. 
In spite at her plumage he tryed his 

skill : 



He levePd his rays where she bask'd 

on the brae — 
His rays were outshone, and but 

markM where she lay ! 



IV. 

They hunted the valley, they hunted 

the hill, 
The best of our lads wi' the best o^ 

their skill ; 
But still as the fairest she sat in their 

sight. 
Then, whirr ! she was over, a mile at 

a flight. 

Chorus, 

I rede you, beware at the hunting, 
young men ! 

I rede you, beware at the hunting, 
young men ! 

Take some on the wing, and some as 
they spring, 

But cannily steal on a bonie moor- 
hen. 



HERE'S A BOTTLE. 

[Gilbert Burns expressed his doubts of 
Robert's authorship of this trifle.] 

There 's nane that's blest of human kind 
But the cheerftil and the gay^ man, 

I. 

Here's a bottle and an honest man ! 

What wad ye wish for mair, man 1 
Wha kens, before his life may end. 

What his share may be o' care, 
man ? 

II. 

Then catch the moments as they fly, 
And use them as ye ought, man ! 

BeHeve me, Happiness is shy. 

And comes not ay when sought, 
man 



338 



THE BONTE LASS. — THE CHEVALIER'S LAMENT. 



THE BONIE LASS OF 
ALBANIE. 

[Charlotte Stuart, daughter of Charles 
Edward, the " Young Pretender," by Clem- 
entina Walkinshavv. She was legitimized 
by the " Parlement of Paris," December 6, 
1787, when she took the style of Duchess 
of Albany. She died soon after her father.] 



My heart is wae, and unco wae, 
To think upon the raging sea. 

That roars between her gardens green 
An' the bonie lass of Albanie. 



II. 

This noble maid 's of royal blood, 
That ruled Albion's kingdoms three ; 

But O, alas for her bonie face ! 

They hae wranged the lass of Al- 
banie. 



III. 



In the rolling tide of spreading Clyde 
There sits an isle of high degree, 

And a town of fame, whose princely 
name 
Should o^race the lass of Albanie. 



IV. 

But there is a youth, a witless youth, 
That fills the place w^here she 
should be. 
We 11 send him o'er to his native 
shore. 
And bring our ain sweet Albanie ! 



Alas the day. and woe the day ! 

A false usurper wan the gree, 
Who now commands the towxrs and 
lands. 

The royal right of Albanie. 



VI. 

We '11 daily pray, we '11 nightly pray, 
On bended knees most fervently, 

That the time may come, with pipe 
and drum 
We "11 welcome hame fair Albanie. 



AMANG THE TREES. 

[Written in honor of Niel Gow (1727- 
1807), the famous fiddler, whom Burns met 
during his Northern tour in 1787.] 



I. 

Amang the trees, where humming 
bees 
At buds and flowers were hinging, O, 
Auld Caledon drew out her drone. 
And to her pipe was singing, O. 
'T was Pibroch, Sang, Strathspeys 
and Reels — 
She dirFd them afif fu' clearly, O, 
When there cam' a yell o' foreign 
squeels. 
That dang her tapsalteerie, O ! 



II. 

Their capon craws an' queer Mia, 
ha's,' 

They made our lugs grow eerie, O. 
The hungry bike did scrape and fyke. 

Till we were wae and weary, O. 
But a royal ghaist, wha ance was 
cas'd ~ 

A prisoner aughteen year awa. 
He fir'd a Fiddler in the North, 

That dang them tapsalteerie, O ! 



THE CHEVALIER'S LAMENT. 

["The Chevalier was dead (March, 
1788) when the song was written. Prince 
Charles is accused by dAlembert, in his 
Eloge on the Earl Marischal, of indifference 



YESTREEN I HAD A PINT O' WTNE. 



339 



to the fate of his supporters. 
Lang.] 



Andrew 



The small birds rejoice in the green 
leaves returning, 
The murmuring streamlet winds 
clear thro' the vale, 
The primroses blow in the dews of 
the morning, 
And wild scatter'd cowslips bedeck 
the green dale : 
But what can give pleasure, or 

what can seem fair. 
When the lingering moments are 
number'd by care ? 
No flow'rs gaily springing, 
Nor birds sweetlv sinorins: 
Can soothe the sad bosom of 
joyless despair ! 



II. 

The deed that I dar'd, could it merit 
their malice, 
A king and a father to place on his 
throne ? 
His right are these hills, and his 
right are those valleys. 
Where the wild beasts find shelter, 
tho' I can find none I 
But 'tis not my suffTings thus 

wretched, forlorn — 
My brave gallant friends, 't is 
your ruin I mourn ! 
Your faith prov'd so loyal 
In hot bloody trial, 
Alas ! can I make it no better 
return ? 



YESTREEN 



I HAD 
WINE. 



A PINT 



[The Anna of the song was Anne Park, 
niece of Mrs. Hyslop of the Globe Tavern, 
Dumfries. She bore a daughter to Burns, 
March 31, 1791, which was first sent to 
Mossgiel, and aftenvards fostered bv Mrs. 



Burns along with her baby, William Nicol, 

born ten days after it.] 

I. 

Yestreen I had a pint o' wine, 
A place where body saw na ; 

Yestreen lay on this breast o' mine 
The gowden locks of Anna. 

II. 

The hungry Jew in wilderness 

Rejoicing o'er his manna 
Was naething to my hiney bliss 

Upon the lips of Anna. 

III. 

Ye monarchs take the East and West 

Frae Indus to Savannah : 
Gie me within my straining grasp 

The melting form of Anna ! 

IV. 

There I *11 despise Imperial charms, 

An Empress or Sultana, 
While dying raptures in her arms 

I give and take wi' Anna ! 



Awa, thou flaunting God of Day ! 

Awa, thou pale Diana ! 
Ilk Star, gae hide thy twinkling ray, 

When I 'm to meet my Anna ! 

VI. 

Come, in thy raven plumage. Night 
(Sun, Moon, and Stars, withdrawn 

a'), 

And bring an Angel-pen to write 
My transports with my Anna ! 

Postscript. 
I. 

The Kirk an' State may join, and tell 
To do sic things I maunna : 

The Kirk an' State may gae to Hell, 
And I '11 gae to my Anna. 



340 



SWEET ARE THE BANKS. — YE FLOWERY BANKS. 



II 



She is the sunshine o' my e'e. 
To live but her I canna : 

Had I on earth but wishes three, 
The first should be my Anna. 



SWEET ARE THE BANKS. 

[First published in this form by Scott 
Douglas. Burns writes to Cunningham from 
Ellisland, March ii, 1791 : " I have this 
evening sketched out a song which I have a 
good mind to send you. ... It is intended 
to be sung to a Strathspey reel of which I 
am very fond, called ' Ballindalloch's Reel' 
and ' Camdelmore.' " —Andrew Lang.] 



Sweet are the banks, the banks o^ 
Doon, 
The spreading flowers are fair, 
And everything is blythe and glad, 

But I am fu' o' care. 
Thou '11 break my heart, thou bonie 
bird, 
That sings upon the bough ! 
Thou minds me o' the happy days 

. When my fause Luve was true. 
Thou '11 break my heart, thou bonie 
bird, 
That sings beside thy mate, 
For sae I sat, and sae I sang. 
And wist na o' my fate ! 



II. 

Aft hae I rov'd by bonie Doon, 

To see the woodbine twine, 
And ilka bird sang o' its luve, 

And sae did I o' mine. 
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose 

Upon its thorny tree, 
But my fause luver staw my rose. 

And left the thorn wi' me. 
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose 

Upon a morn in June, 
And sae I flourish'd on the morn, 

And sae was pu'd or noon. 



YE FLOWERY BANKS. 

[" While here I sit, sad and solitary, by 
the side of a fire in a little country inn, and 
drying my wet clothes, in pops a poor fellow 
of a sodger, and tells me he is going to Ayr. 
By Heavens ! says I to myself, with a tide 
of good spirits which the magic of that 
sound ' Auld Toon of Ayr ' conjured up, I 
will send my last song to Mr. Ballantine." 
(R. B.)] 



Ye flowery banks o' bonie Doon, 
How can ye blume sae fair? 

How can ye chant, ye little birds, 
And I sae fu' o' care ? 



n. 

Thou 'II break my heart, thou bonie 
bird. 

That sings upon the bough : 
Thou minds me o' the happy days 

When my fause Luve was true ! 



III. 

Thou '11 break my heart, thou bonie 
bird. 

That sings beside thy mate : 
For sae I sat, and sae I sang. 

And wist na o' my fate ! 



IV. 

Aft hae I rov'd by bonie Doon 
To see the woodbine twine. 

And ilka bird sang o' its luve^ 
And sae did I o' mine. 



* V. 

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose 
Frae afl" its thorny tree. 

And my fause luver staw my rose, 
But left the thorn wi' me. 



CALEDONIA. 



341 



CALEDONIA. 

[Sent to Johnson Jan. 23, 1789; but 
Johnson did not publish the song.] 

I. 

There was on a time, but old Time 
was then young. 
That brave Caledonia, the chief of 
her line, 
From some of your northern deities 
sprung 
(Who knows not that brave Cale- 
donia 's divine). 
From Tweed to the Orcades was her 
domain, 
To hunt, or to pasture, or do what 
she would. 
Her heav'nly relations there fixed her 
reign, 
And pledged her their godheads to 
warrant it good. 



II. 

A lambkin in peace but a lion in war, 
The pride of her kindred the hero- 
ine grew. 

Her grandsire, old Odin, triumphantly 
swore : — 

' Whoe'er shall provoke thee, th' en- 
counter shall rue ! ^ 

With tillage or pasture at times she 
• would sport. 
To feed her fair flocks by her green 
rustling corn ; 

But chiefly the woods were her fav'rite 
resort. 
Her darling amusement the hounds 
and the horn. 



III. 

Long quiet she reign'd, till thither- 
ward steers 
A flight of bold eagles from Adda's 
strand. 

Repeated, successive, for many long 
years, 



They darken^ the air, and the}! 

plundered the land. 
Their pounces were murder, and 

horror their cry ; 
TheyM conquered and ravaged a 

world beside. 
She took to her hills, and her arrows 

let fly — 
The daring invaders, they fled or 

they died ! 

IV. 

The Cameleon-Savage disturbed her 
repose. 
With tumult, disquiet, rebellion, 
and strife. 
Provoked beyond bearing, at last she 
arose. 
And robbed him at once of his 
hopes and his life. 
The Anglian Lion, the terror of 
France, 
Oft, prowling, ensanguined the 
Tweed's silver flood. 
But, taught by the bright Caledonian 
lance. 
He learned to fear in his own native 
wood. 

V. 

The fell Harpy-Raven took wing from 
the north. 
The scourge of the seas, and the 
dread of the shore ; 
The wild Scandinavian Boar issued 
forth 
To wanton in carnage and wallow 
in gore ; 
O'er countries and kingdoms their 
fury prevaiPd, 
No arts could appease them, no 
arms could repel ; 
But brave Caledonia in vain they 
assail'd. 
As Largs well can witness, and 
Loncartie tell. 

VI. 

Thus bold, independent, unconquer'd, 
and free, 



342 YOU'RE WELCOME, WILLIE STEWART. — WHEN FIRST I SAW. 



Her bright course of glory for ever 
shall run, 
For brave Caledonia immortal must 
be, 
I '11 prove it from Euclid as clear as 
the sun : — 
Rectangle-triangle, the figure we '11 
chuse ; 
The upright is Chance, and old 
Time is the base. 
But brave Caledonia 's the hypothe- 
nuse ; 
Then, ergo^ she'll match them, and 
match them always ! 



YOU'RE WELCOME, WILLIE 
STEWART. 

[Originally inscribed on a crystal tumbler, 
now at Abbotsford. The song is modelled 
on the same Jacobitism as " O Lovely Polly 
Stewart."] 

Chorus, 

You 're welcome, Willie Stewart ! 

You 're welcome, Willie Stewart ! 
There 's ne'er a flower that blooms in 
May, 

That 's half sae welcome 's thou art ! 



I. 

Come, bumpers high ! express your 
joy! 

The bowl we maun renew it — 
The tappet hen, gae bring her ben, 

To welcome Willie Stewart ! 



II. 

May foes be strong, and friends be 

slack ! 
Ilk action, may he rue it ! 
May woman on him turn her back. 
That wrangs thee, Willie Stewart ! 

Chorus, 

You 're welcome, Willie Stewart ! 
You're welcome, Willie Stewart ! 



There 's ne'er a flower that blooms in 
May, 
That 's half sae welcome 's thou art ! 



WHEN FIRST I SAW. 

[Chambers states that the heroine of it 
was a Miss Jean Jeffrey, whom Burns cele- 
brated in " The Blue-eyed Lassie."] 



Chorus. 

She 's aye, aye sae blithe, sae gay. 
She 's aye sae blithe and cheerie. 

She 's aye sae bonie. blithe and gay, 
O, gin I were her dearie ! 



I. 

When first I saw fair Jeanie's face, 

I couldna tell what aiPd me : 
My heart went fluttering pit-a-pat. 

My een they almost faiPd me. 
She 's aye sae neat, sae trim, sae tight, 

All grace does round her hover ! 
Ae look depriv'd me o' my heart, 

And I became her lyver. 



II. 

Had I Dundas's whole estate. 

Or Hopetoun's wealth to shine in ; 
Did warlike laurels crown my brow. 

Or humbler bays entwining ; 
I 'd lay them a' at Jeanie's feet, 

Could I but hope to move her. 
And, prouder than a belted knight, 

I 'd be my Jeanie's lover. 



III. 

But sair I fear some happier swain. 

Has gain'd my Jeanie's favour. 
If so, may every bliss be hers. 

Though I maun never have her ! 
But gang she east, or gang she west, 

'Twixt Forth and Tweed all over. 
While men have eyes, or ears, or taste, 

She '11 always find a lover. 



HERE'S A HEALTH TO THEM THAT'S AWA. 



343 



Chorus. 

She *s aye, aye sae blithe, sae gay, 
She *s aye sae blithe and cheerie, 

She *s aye sae bonie. blithe and gay, 
O, gin I were her dearie ! 



BEHOLD THE HOUR. 

FIRST SET. 
[Sent to Clarinda, Dec. 27, 1791.] 

I. 

Behold the hour, the boat, arrive ! 

My dearest Nancy, O, farewell ! 
Sever'd frae thee, can I survive, 

Frae thee whom I hae lov'd sae well ? 

II. 

Endless and deep shall be my grief, 
Nae ray of comfort shall I see, 

But this most precious, dear belief. 
That thou wilt still remember me. 

III. 

Along the solitarv' shore, 

Where flitting sea-fowl round me cry, 
Across the rolling, dashing roar, 

I'll westward turn my wistful eye. 

IV. 

' Happy thou Indian grove,' I '11 say, 
' Where now my Nancv's path shall 
be! 
While thro' your sweets she holds her 
way, 
O, tell me. does she muse on me?' 



HERE^S A HEALTH TO THEM 
THAT'S AWA. 

[Founded on an old Jacobite song.] 

I. 
Here *s a health to them that 's awa. 
Here 's a heaMi to them that 's 
awa ! 



And wha winna wish guid luck to our 
cause. 
May never guid luck be their 
fa'! 
It's guid to be merry and wise. 

It 's guid to be honest and true. 
It 's guid to support Caledonia's cause 
And bide by the buff and the 
blue. 

II. 

Here 's a health to them that 's awa, 
Here 's a health to them that 's 
awa ! 
Here 's a health to Charlie, the chief 
o' the clan, 
Altho' that his band be sma' ! 
May Liberty meet wi' success. 

May Prudence protect her frae 
evil ! 
May tyrants and Tyranny tine i' the 
mist 
And wander their wav to the 
Devil ! 

III. 

Here 's a health to them that 's awa. 
Here 's a health to them that 's 
awa ! 
Here *s a health to Tammie, the Nor- 
lan' laddie. 
That lives at the lug o' the 
Law ! 
Here 's freedom to them that wad 
read. 
Here's freedom to them that 
would write ! 
There 's nane ever fear'd that the truth 
should be heard 
But they whom the truth would 
indite ! 

Here *s a health to them that 's awa. 
An' here "s to them that *s awa ! 
Here 's to Maitland and Wycombe ! 
Let wha does na like "em 
Be built in a hole in the wa* ! 
Here 's timmer that 's red at the 
heartj 



344 



AH, CHLORIS.— MEG O' THE MILL. 



Here's fruit that is sound at 

the core, 
And may he that wad turn the buff 

and blue coat 
Be turnM to the back o' the 

door! 

V. 

Here 's a health to them that 's awa, 
Here 's a health to them that 's 
awa ! 
Here 's chieftain M^Leod, a chieftain 
worth gowd, 
Tho' bred amang mountains o' 
snaw ! 
Here 's friends on baith sides o' the 
Firth, 
And friends on baith sides o' 
the Tweed, 
And wha wad betray old Albion's 
right, 
May they never eat of her 
bread ! 



AH, CHLORIS. 

[•'Esteem for Miss Lorimer may have 
been a genuine sentiment." — Andrew 
Lang.] 

I. 

Ah, Chloris, since it may not be 
That thou of love wilt hear, 

If from the lover thou maun flee, 
Yet let the friend be dear ! 

II. 

Altho' I love my Chloris mair 
Than ever tongue could tell, 

My passion I will ne'er declare — 
I '11 say, I wish thee well. 

III. 

Tho' a' my daily care thou art. 

And a' my nightly dream, 
I '11 hide the struggle in my heart, 

And say it is esteem. 



PRETTY PEG. 

[A fragment by Burns. Authorship oi 
the whole not certain.] 



As I gaed up by yon gate-end, 
When day was waxin weary, 

Wha did I meet come down the street 
But pretty Peg, my dearie ? 

II. 

Her air so sweet, her shape complete, 
Wi' nae proportion wanting — 

The Queen of Love could never move 
Wi' motion mair enchanting ! 

III. 

With linked hands we took the sands 
Down by yon winding river ; 

And O ! that hour, and shady bow'r, 
Can I forget it? Never ! 



MEG O' THE MILL. 

SECOND SET. 

[•' Much of a peculiar sort of the old 
Scotch humor which inspired * The Hag- 
gis in Dunbar ' and similar rude lyrics." — 
Andrew^ Lang.] 

le 

O, KEN ye what Meg o' the mill has 

gotten ? 
An' ken ye what Meg o' the mill ha? 

gotten? 
She 's gotten a coof wi' a claute o 

siller. 
And broken the heart o' the barley 

miller ! 

II. 

The miller was strappin, the miller 

was ruddy, 
A heart like a lord, and a hue like a 

lady. 



O SAW YE MY DEAR, MY PHILLY. 



345 



The laird was a widdifu', bleerit 

knurl — 
She 's left the guid fellow, and taen 



the churl ! 



III. 



The miller, he hecht her a heart leal 

and loving. 
The laird did address her wi' matter 

more moving : 
A fine pacing-horse wi' a clear, chained 

bridle, 
A whip by her side, and a bonie side 

saddle ! 

IV. 

f 

O, wae on the siller — it is sae pre- 
vailing ! 

And wae on the love that is fixed on 
a mailen ! 

A tocher \s nae word in a true lover's 
pari, 

But gie me my love and a fig for the 
war! ! 



PHILLIS THE FAIR. 

[Sent to Thomson, August, 1793. The 
heroine is Miss Phillis M'Murdo.] 



While larks with little wing 

Fann'd the pure air. 
Viewing the breathing Spring, 

Forth I did fare. 
Gay, the sun's golden eye 
Peep'd o'er the mountains high ; 
' Such thy bloom,' did I cry — 
' PhilHs the fair ! ' 



II. 

In each bird's careless song, 

Glad, I did share ; 
While yon wild flowers among, 

Chance led me there. 



Sweet to the opening day. 
Rosebuds bent the dewy spray ; 
^ Such thy bloom,' did I say — 
' Phillis the fair ! ' 



III. 

Down in a shady walk 
Doves cooing were ; 

I mark'd the cruel hawk 
Caught in a snare. 

So kind may Fortune be ! 

Such make his destiny, 

He who would injure thee^ 
Phillis the fair ! 



G SAW YE MY DEAR, MY 
PHILLY. 

[Sent to Thomson, Oct. 19, 1794. A 
degradation of " My Eppie Macnab."] 



I. 

O, SAW ye my Dear, my Philly ? 
O, saw ye my Dear, my Philly ? 
She 's down i' the grove, she 's wi' a 
new love. 
She winna come hame to her Willy. 



II. 

What says she, my Dear, my Philly? 

What says she, my Dear, my Philly ? 

She lets thee to wit she has thee for- 



got, 
And for 
Willy. 



ever disowns thee, her 



III. 

O, had I ne'er seen thee, my Philly ! 

O, had I ne'er seen thee, my Philly ! 

As light as the air, and fause as thou 's 

fair, 

Thou's broken the heart o' thy 

Willy. 



346 



O, WERT THOU IN THE CAULD BLAST. 



'TWAS NA HER BONIE BLUE 
E'E. 

[Sent to Thomson, April, 1795, but not 
published by him.] 

I. 

'T WAS na her bonie blue e'e was my 

ruin : 
Fair tho' she be, that was ne'er my 

undoin. 
T was the dear smile when naebody 

did mind us, 
'T was the bewitching, sweet, stoun 

glance o' kindness ! 



II. 
Sair do I fear that to hope is denied 

me, 
Sair do I fear that despair maun abide 

me ; 
But tho' fell Fortune should fate us to 

sever. 
Queen shall she be in my bosom for 

ever. 

III. 

Chloris, I 'm thine wi' a passion sin- 

cerest, 
And thou hast plighted me love o' the 

dearest, 
And thou Tt the angel that never 

can alter — 
Sooner the sun in his motion would 

falter ! 



WHY, WHY TELL THY 
LOVER. 

[Written for the tune " Caledonian 
Hunt's Delight." Burns writes to Thomson, 
July 3, 1795 : " Such is the d — d peculiarity 
of the rhythm of this air that I find it im- 
possible to make another stanza to suit it.] 



Why, why tell thy lover 
Bliss he never must enjoy? 
Why, why undeceive him 
And give all his hopes the lie ? 



II. 

O, w^iy, while Fancy, raptur'd, slum- 
bers, 
^Chloris, Chloris,' all the theme, 
Why, why wouldst thou, cruel. 
Wake thy lover from his dream ? 



THE PRIMROSE. 

[Ahered from an old English song, " Ask 
Me Why I Send You Here." Sent to 
Thomson, 1793.] 



I. 



Dost ask me, why I send theeihere 
The firstling of the infant year : 
This lovely native of the vale. 
That hangs so pensive and so pale ? 

II. 

Look on its bending stalk, so weal^. 
That, each way yielding, doth not 

■ break, 
And see how aptly it reveals 
The doubts and fears a lover feels. 

III. 

Look on its leaves of yellow hue 
BepearPd thus with morning dew. 
And these will whisper in thine 

ears : — 
' The sweets of loves are wash'd with 

tears.' 



O, WERT THOU IN THE 
CAULD BLAST, 

[Written during his last illness, in honor 
of Miss Jessie Lewars.] 

I, 

O. WERT thou in the cauld blast 
On yonder lea, on yonder lea. 

My plaidie to the angry airt, 

I 'd shelter thee. I 'd shelter thee. 



YOUR FRIENDSHIP. — LET LOOVE SPARKLE. 



347 



Or did Misfortune's bitter storms 
Around thee blaw, around thee blaw, 

Thy bield should be my bosom, 
To share it a', to share it a\ 


The desert were a Paradise, 

If thou wert there, if thou wert 
there. 
Or were I monarch of the globe, 

Wi' thee to reign, wi' thee to 


II. 

Or were I in the wildest waste, 
Sae black and bare, sae black and 


reign, 
The brightest jewel in my crown 
Wad be my queen, wad be my 


bare, 


queen. 



INTERPOLATIONS. 



YOUR FRIENDSHIP. 

[Included in a poem of Clarinda's, " Talk 
Not of Love."] 



Your friendship much can make me 
blest — 

O, why that bliss destroy? 
Why urge the only, one request 

You know I will deny? 

II. 

Your thought, if Love must harbour 
there. 

Conceal it in that thought, 
Nor cause me from my bosom tear 

The very friend I sought. 



FOR THEE IS LAUGHING 
NATURE. 

[Written to complete a song by Clarinda, 
an additional quatrain being necessary to 
fill the tune.] 

For thee is laughing Nature gay. 
For thee she pours the vernal day : 
For me in vain is Nature drest. 
While Joy 's a stranger to my breast. 



NO COLD APPROACH. 

[Inserted in the song, " The Tears I 
Shed," by Miss Cranstoun, to complete 



the last octave, and so fit it for th^ 

tune.] 

No cold approach, no altered mien. 
Just what would make suspicion 
start, 
No pause the dire extremes between : 
He made me blest — and broke my 
heart. 



ALTHO' HE HAS LEFT ME. 

[Inserted by Bums in a song from Herd's 
Collection, " As I Was a Walking."] 

Altho' he has left me for greed o' the 
siller, • 

I dinna envy him the gains he can 
win : 
I rather wad bear a' the lade o' my 
sorrow 
Than ever hae acted sae faithless 
to him. 



LET LOOVE SPARKLE. 

[Inserted by Burns in " Jocky Fou and 
Jenny Fain," to complete an octave.] 

Ithers seek they ken na what. 
Features, carriage, and a' that ; 
Gie me love in her I court, 
Love to love maks a' the sport. 



348 



AS DOWN THE BURN. — ELEGY ON STELLA. 



Let loove sparkle in her e'e, 
Let her lo'e nae man but me : 
That 's the tocher guid I prize, 
There the luver's treasure lies. 



AS DOWN THE BURN. 

[Sent to Thomson in September, 1793, 
as a substitute for the final stanza of 



Robert Crawford's song, " Down the Burn, 
Davie."] 

As down the burn they took their way, 

And thro' the flowery dale ; 
His cheek to hers he aft did lay, 

And love was ay the tale, 
With — ' Mary, when shall we return, 

Sic pleasure to renew ? ' 
Quoth Mary — ' Love, I like the burn, 

And ay shall follow you.' 



IMPROBABLES. 



[The authorship of these verses, credited to Burns by many of his editors, is not authenti- 
cated, and the quahty of most of them is not worthy of his genius.] 



ON ROUGH ROADS. 

[According to Scott Douglas, " It is very 
familiarly quoted in Ayrshire, as a stray im- 
promptu of Burns's."] 



II, 



thanks to the 



rough 



and 



I 'm now arrived 
Gods! — 
Through pathways 
muddy : 
A certain sign that makin' roads 

Is no this people^s study. 
Yet, though I 'm no wi' scripture 
cramm'd, 
I 'm sure the Bible says 
That heedless sinners shall be damn'd, 
Unless they mend their ways. 



ELEGY ON STELLA. 

f" Conceivably the piece may have been 
inspired by a memory of Highland Mary. 
The authorship is dubious. The present 
editor is inclined to regard the piece as 
Burns's own." — Andrew Lang.] 

I. 

Strait is the spot and green the sod, 
From whence my sorrows flow ; 

And soundly sleeps the ever dear 
Inhabitant below. 



Pardon my transport, gentle shade, 
While o^er the turf I bow ! 

Thy earthly house is circumscrib'd, 
xAnd solitary now ! 



III. 



Not one poor stone to tell thy name 
Or make thy virtues known ! 

But what avails to thee — to me — 
The sculpture of a stone "^ 



IV. 



I '11 sit me down upon this turf. 
And wipe away this tear. 

The chill blast passes swiftly by, 
And flits around thy bier. 



V. 



Dark is the dwelling of the dead, 
And sad their house of rest : 

Low lies the head by Death's cold arm 
In awful fold em^braced. 



VI. 



I saw the grim Avenger stand 

Incessant by thy side ; 
Unseen by thee, his deadly breath 

Thy lingering frame destroyed. 



ELEGY ON STELLA. 



349 



VII, 



Pale grew the roses on thy cheek, 
And withered was thy bloom, 

Till the slow poison brought thy youth 
Untimely to the tomb. 



VIII. 



Thus wasted are the ranks of men 
Youth, health, and beauty fall ! 

The ruthless ruin spreads around, 
And overwhelms us all. 



IX. 

Behold where, round thy narrow house, 
The graves unnumberM lie ! 

The multitude that sleep below, 
Existed but to die. 



Some with the tottering steps of Age 
Trod down the darksome way ; 

And some in Youth's lamented prime, 
Like thee, were torn away. 



XI. 

Yet these, however hard their fate. 
Their native earth receives : 

Amid their weeping friends they died. 
And fill their fathers' graves. 



XII. 

From thy lov'd friends, when first thy 

heart. 
Was taught by Heaven to glow. 
Far, far remov'd, the ruthless stroke 
Surprised, and laid thee low. 



XIII. 

At the last limits of our Isle, 
Wash'd by the western wave. 

Touched by thy fate, a thoughtful 
Bard 
Sits lonely on thy grave ! 



XIV. 



Pensive he eyes, before him spread. 
The deep, outstretched and vast. 

His mourning notes are borne away 
Along the rapid blast. 



XV. 



And while, amid the silent dead, 
Thy hapless fate he mourns. 

His own long sorrows freshly bleed, 
And all his ei'ief returns. 



XVI. 

Like thee, cut off in early youth 
And flower of beauty's pride, 

His friend, his first and only joy, 
His much-lov'd Stella died. 



XVII. 

Him, too, the stern impulse of Fate 

Resistless bears along, 
And the same rapid tide shall whelm 

The Poet and the Song. 



XVIII. 

The tear of pity, which he shed. 
He asks not to receive : 

Let but his poor remains be laid 
Obscurely in the grave i 



XIX. 

His grief-worn heart with truest joy 
Shall meet the welcome shock ; 

His airy harp shall lie unstrung 
And silent on the rock. 



XX. 

O mv dear maid, my Stella, when 
Shall this sick period close, 

And lead the solitary Bard 
To his belov'd repose? 



350 



POEM ON PASTORAL POETRY. 



POEM ON PASTORAL 
POETRY, 

[Currie (1800), from a Ms. in Burns's 
hand; but Gilbert Bums strongly doubted 
its authenticity, and internal evidence shows 
that it may have been written by some con- 
temporary of Allan Ramsay.] 



I. 

Hail, Poesie ! thou Nymph reserved I 
In chase o' thee, what crowds hae 

swerv'd 
Frae common sense, or sunk enerv'd 

'Mang heaps o' clavers ! 
And och ! o'er aft thy joes hae starved 

'Mid a' thy favours ! 

II. 

Say, Lassie, why thy train amang, 
While loud the trump's heroic clang. 
And sock or buskin skelp alang 

To death or marriage. 
Scarce ane has tried the shepherd- 
sang 

But wi' miscarriage ? 



III. 

In Homer's craft Jock Milton thrives ; 
Eschylus' pen Will Shakespeare 

drives ; 
Wee Pope, the knurlin, till him 
rives 

Horatian fame ; 
In thy sweet sang, Barbauld, survives 
Even Sappho's flame ! 



IV. 

But thee, Theocritus, wha matches ? 
They 're no herd's ballats, Maro's 

catches ! 
Squire Pope but busks his skinklin 
patches 

O' heathen tatters ! 
I pass by hunders, nameless wretches. 
That ape their betters. 



V. 

In this braw age o' wit and lear. 
Will nane the Shepherd's whistle 

mair 
Blaw sweetly in its native air 

And rural grace, 
And wi' the far-fam'd Grecian share 
A rival place ? 

VI. 

Yes ! there is ane — a Scottish callan ! 
There 's ane ! Come forrit, honest 

Allan ! 
Thou need na jouk behint the hallan, 

A chiel sae clever ! 
The teeth o' Time may gnaw Tan- 
tallan, 

But thou 's for ever. 

VII. 

Thou paints auld Nature to the nines 
In thy sweet Caledonian lines ! 
Nae gowden stream thro' myrtles 
twines, 

Where Philomel, 
While nightly breezes sweep the 
vines, 

Her griefs will tell : 

Vllle 

In gowany glens thy burnie strays, 
Where bonie lasses bleach their claes, 
Or trots by hazelly ^haws and braes 

Wi' hawthorns gray. 
Where blackbirds join the shepherd's 
lays 

At close o' day. 

IX. 

Thy rural loves are Nature's sel' : 
Nae bombast spates o' nonsense 

swell, 
Nae snap conceits, but that sweet 
spell 

O' witchin love. 
That charm that can the strongest 
quell, 

The sternest move. 



THE JOYFUL WIDOWER. 



35^ 



ON THE DESTRUCTION OF 
DRUMLANRIG WOODS. 

[First published in the Scots Magazine 
for July, 1803, where it is stated that the 
verses had been found "written on the 
\^tndow-shutter of a small inn on the banks 
of the Nith," and that they were " supposed 
to have been written by Burns."] 



I. 

As on the banks of winding Nith 

Ae smiling simmer morn I strayed. 
And trac'd its bonie holms and 
haughs, 

Where linties sang, and lammies 
playM, 
I sat me down upon a craig, 

And drank my fill o^ fancy's dream, 
When from the eddying deep below 

Up rose the Genius of the Stream. 



II. 



Dark like the frowning rock his brow, 
And troubled like his wintry wave, 
And deep as sughs the boding wind 
Amang his caves the sigh he gave. 
^And come ye here, my son,' he 
cried, 
' To wander in my birken shade ? 
To muse some favourite Scottish 
theme, 
Or sing some favourite Scottish 
maid? 

III. 

^ There was a time, it 's nae lang syne, 
Ye might hae seen me in my pride. 
When 2C my banks sae bravely saw 
Their woody pictures in my tide ; 
When hanging beech and spreading 
elm 
Shaded my stream sae clear and 
cool ; 
And stately oaks their twisted arms 
Threw broad and dark across the 
pool ; 



IV. 



^When, glinting thro' the trees, ap- 
peared 

The wee white cot aboon the mill, 
And peaceful rose its ingle reek, 

That, slowly curhng, clamb the hill. 
But now the cot is bare and cauld. 

Its leafy bield for ever gane, 
And scarce a stinted birk is left 

To shiver in the blast its lane.' 



' Alas ! ' quoth I, * what ruefu' chance 

Has twin'd ye o' your stately trees ? 
Has laid your rocky bosom bare ? 

Has stripp'd the deeding alf your 
braes ? 
Was it the bitter eastern blast. 

That scatters blight in early spring? 
Or was 't the wiPfire scorch'd their 
boughs? 

Or canker-worm wi' secret sting ? ' 

VI. 

' Nae eastlin blast,' the Sprite re- 
plied — 
' It blaws nahere sae fierce and fell, 
And on my dry and halesome banks 
Nae canker-worms get leave to 
dwell : 
Man ! cruel man ! ' the Genius sigh'd. 
As through the cliffs he sank him 
down : 
^The worm that gnaw'd my bonie 
trees. 
That reptile wears a Ducal crown.' 



THE JOYFUL WIDOWER. 

[This performance (No. 98 in Johnson, 
1787) is attributed to. Burns, but he never 
acknowledged it. There are many black- 
letter ballads — most of them unsavory 
enough — on scolding wives.] 



I MARRIED with a scolding wife 
The fourteenth of November : 



352 



THE TREE OF LIBERTYo 



She made me weary of my life 

By one unruly member. 
Long did I bear the heavy yoke, 

And many griefs attended, 
But to my comfort be it spoke, 

Now, now her life is ended ! 

II. 

We livM full one-and-twenty years 

A man and wife together. 
At length from me her course she 
steerd 

And gone I know not whither. 
Would I could guess, 1 do profess : 

I speak, and do not flatter. 
Of all the women in the world, 

I never would come at her ! 

III. 

Her body is bestowed well — 

A handsome grave does hide her. 
But sure her soul is not in Hell — 

The Deil would ne^er abide her ! 
I rather think she is aloft 

And imitating thunder. 
For why? — Methinks I hear her 
voice 

Tearing the clouds asunder ! 



WHY SHOULD WE IDLY 
WASTE OUR PRIiME. 

[Attributed by Cunningham to Bums.] 

I. 

Why should we idly waste our prime 

Repeating our oppressions ? 
Come rouse to arms ! 'T is now the 
time 
To punish past transgressions. 
'Tis said that Kings can do no 
wrong — 
Their murderous deeds deny it. 
And, since from us their power is 
sprung, 
We have a right to try it. 



Now each true patriot's song shall 

be: — 
' Welcome Death or Libertie ! ' 

II. 

Proud Priests and Bishops we '11 trans- 
late 

And canonize as Martyrs ; 
The guillotine on Peers shall wait ; 

And Knights shall hang in garters. 
Those Despots long have trode us 
down, 

And Judges are their engines : 
Such wretched minions of a Crown 

Demand the people's vengeance ! 
To-day 't is tJieirs. To-morrow we 
Shall don the Cap of Libertie ! 

III. 

The Golden Age we '11 then revive : 

Each man will be a brother ; 
In harmony wx all shall live. 

And share the earth together , 
In Virtue train'd, enlighten'd Youth 

Will love each fellow-creature ; 
And future years shall prove the truth 

That Man is good by nature : 
Then let us toast with three times 

three 
The reign of Peace and Libertie ! 



THiE TREE OF LIBERTY. 

[Chambers credits these verses to Burns 
on the authority of a Ms. then in the posses- 
sion of Mr. James Duncan, Morefield, Glas- 
gow. The Ms. has not been heard of since 

1838.] 

I. 

Heard ye o' the Tree o' France, 
And wat ye what 's the name o 't ? 

Around it a' the patriots dance — 
Weel Europe kens the fame o 't ! 

It stands where ance the Bastile 
stood — 
A prison built by kings, man, 



THE TREE OF LIBERTY. 



353 



When Superstition's hellish brood 
Kept France in leading-strings, 
man. 

n. 

Upo' this tree there grows sic fruity 

Its virtues a' can tell, man : 
It raises man aboon the brute. 

It mak's him ken himseP, man ! 
Gif ance the peasant taste a bit. 

He's greater than a lord, man, 
And wi' the beggar shares a mite 

O' a' he can atford, man. 



in. 

This fruit is worth a' Afric's wealth : 

To comfort us 't was sent, man, 
To gie the sweetest blush o' health, 

And mak' us a' content, man ! 
It clears the een, it cheers the heart, 

Mak's high and low guid friends, 
man. 
And he wha acts the traitor's part. 

It to perdition sends, man. 

IV. 

My blessings ay attend the chiel, 

Wha pitied Gallia's slaves, man, ^ 
And staw a branch, spite o' the Deil, 

Frae 'yont the western waves, man ! 
Fair Virtue water'd it wi' care. 

And now she sees wi' pride, man, 
How weel it buds and blossoms 
there. 

Its branches spreading wide, man. 



V. 

But vicious folk ay hate to see 

The works o' Virtue thrive, man : 
The courtly vermin 's bann'd the tree, 

And grat to see it thrive, man ! 
King Louis thought to cut it down. 

When it was unco sma', man ; 
For this the watchman crack'd his 
crown. 

Cut aff his head and a', man. 



VI. 

A wicked crew syne, on a time. 

Did tak' a solemn aith, man. 
It ne'er should flourish to its prime — 

I wat they pledg'd their faith, 
man ! 
Awa they gaed wi' mock parade. 

Like beagles hunting game, man. 
But soon grew weary o' the trade. 

And wish'd they^'d been at hame, 
man. 



VII. 

Fair Freedom, standing by the tree, 

Her sons did loudly ca', man. 
She sang a sang o' Liberty, 

Which pleas'd them ane and a', 
man. 
By her inspir'd, the new-born race 

Soon drew the avenging steel, man. 
The hirelings ran — her foes gied 
chase. 

And bang d the despot weel, man. 



VIII. 

Let Britain boast her hardy oak. 

Her poplar, and her pine, man ! 
Auld Britain ance could crack her 
joke, 
And o'er her neighbours shine, 
man ! 
But seek the forest round and round, 

And soon 't will be agreed, man, 
That sic a tree can not be found 
Twixt London and the Tweed, 
man. 



IX. 

Without this tree alake this life 

Is but a vale o' woe, man, 
A scene o' sorrow mix'd wi' strife, 

Nae real joys we know, man ; 
We labour soon, we labour late, 

To feed the titled knave, man. 
And a' the comfort we 're to get. 

Is that ayont the grave, man. 



2A 



354 



TO A KISS. — TO THE OWL. 



X. 

Wr plenty o' sic trees, I trow, 

The warld would live in peace, 
man. 
The sword would help to rnak^ a 
plough, 

The din o^ w^ar wad cease, man. 
Like brethren in a common cause, 

We 'd on each other smile, man ; 
And equal rights and equal laws 

Wad gladden every isle, man. 



XI. 

Wae worth the loon wha wadna eat 

Sic halesome, dainty cheer, man ! 
I 'd gie the shoon frae aff my feet. 

To taste the fruit o 't here, man ! 
Syne let us pray, Auld England may 

Sure plant this far-famed tree, man ; 
And blythe we '11 sing, and herald the 
day 

That gives us liberty, man. 



TO A KISS. 



[Published in a Liverpool paper called 
the " Kaleidoscope," and there attributed 
to Burns. It originally appeared in " The 
Oracle," Jan. 29, 1796. The authorship is 
practically unknown.] 



I. 

Humid seal of soft affections, 
Tend'rest pledge of future bliss, 

Dearest tie of young connections. 
Love's first snow-drop, virgin kiss ! 

II. 
Speaking silence, dumb confession. 

Passion's birth and infant's play. 
Dove-like fondness, chaste confession, 

Glowing dawn of brighter day ! 

III. 

Sorrowing joy, adieu's last action. 
Lingering lips — no more must join ! 

Words can never speak affection, 
Thrilling and sincere as thine ! 



DELIA. 



AN ODE. 



["The lines, if authentic, are obviously a 
parody." — Andrew Lang.] 

I. 

Fair the face of orient day, 
Fair the tints of opening rose : 

But fairer still my Delia dawns. 
More lovely far her beauty blows. 

II. 

Sweet the lark^s wild-warbled lay, 
Sweet the tinkling rill to hear : 

BuL DeHa, more delightful still 
Steal thine accents on mine ear. 

III. 

The flower-enamoured busy bee 
The rosy banquet loves to sip ; 

Sweet the streamlet's limpid lapse 
To the sun-brown'd Arab's lip : 

IV. 

But, Delia, on thy balmy lips 
Let me, no vagrant insect, rove ! 

O, let me steal one liquid kiss ! 

For O ! my soul is parch'd with 
love ! 



TO THE OWL. 

[Found among Burns's Ms., in his own 
handwriting, with occasional interlineations, 
such as occur in all his primitive effusions, 
but attributed by him to John M'Creddie, 
of whom nothing is known.] 



Sad bird of night, what sorrow^ calls 
thee forth. 
To vent thy plaints thus in the 
midnight hour? 



THE VOWELS. 



355 



Is it some blast that gathers in the 
north, 
Threat'ning to nip the verdure of 
thy bow'r ? 

II. 

Is it, sad owl, that Autumn strips the 
shade. 
And leaves thee here, unsheltered 
and forlorn ? 
Or fear that Winter will thy nest in- 
vade ? 
Or friendless ^Melancholy bids thee 
mourn? 

III. 

Shut out, lone bird, from all the 
feather'd train. 
To tell thy sorrows to th' unheed- 
ing gloom. 
No friend to pity when thou dost 
complain. 
Grief all thy thought, and solitude 
thy home, 

IV. 

Sing on, sad mourner ! I will bless 
thy strain, 
And pleas'd in sorrow listen to thy 
song. 
Sing on, sad mourner ! To the night 
complain, 
W^hile the lone echo wafts thy notes 
along. 

V. 

Is Beauty less, when down the glow- 
ing cheek 
Sad, piteous tears in native sorrows 
fall? 
Less kind the heart when anguish bids 
it break ? 
Less happv he who lists to Pitv^s 
call ? 



VI. 

Ah no, sad owl ! nor is thy voice less 
sweet, 



That Sadness tunes it, and that 

Grief is there ? 
That Spring's gay notes, unskill'd, 

thou can"t repeat, 
That Sorrow bids thee to the gloom 

repair ! 

VII. 

Nor that the treble songsters of the 
day. 
Are quite estranged, sad bird of 
night, from thee ! 
Nor that the thrush deserts the even- 
ing spray. 
When darkness calls thee from thy 
reverie ! 



VIII. 

From some old tower, thy melancholy 
dome. 
While the gray walls and desert 
solitudes 
Return each note, responsive to the 
gloom 
Of ivied coverts and surrounding 
woods : 

IX. 

There hooting, I will list more pleased 
to thee. 
Than ever lover to the nightingale, 
Or drooping wretch, oppress'd wdth 
misery. 
Lending his ear to some condoling 
tale ! 



THE VOWELS. 

A TALE. 

[Found among the poet's papers.] 

*T \VAS where the birch and sounding 
thong are ply'd. 

The noisy domicile of pedant pride ; 

Where Ignorance her darkening va- 
pour throws. 

And Cruelty directs the thickening 
blows ! 



356 



ON THE ILLNESS OF A FAVOURITE CHILD. 



Upon a time. Sir ABC the great, 
In all his pedagogic powers elate, 
His awful chair of state resolves to 

mount, 
And call the trembling Vowels to 

account. 

First enter'd A, a grave, broad, solemn 

wight, 
But, ah ! deformM, dishonest to the 

sight ! 
His twisted head lookM backward on 

his way. 
And flagrant from the scourge he 

grunted, all 

Reluctant. E stalkM in ; a piteous case, 

The justling tears ran down his hon- 
est face ! 

That name, that well-worn name, and 
all his own, 

Pale, he surrenders at the tyrant's 
throne ! 

The Pedant stifles keen the Roman 
sound 

Not all his mongrel diphthongs can 
compound ; 

And next the title following close 
behind, 

He to the nameless, ghastly wretch 



assigned. 



gothic 



dome re- 



T he cobwebb'd 
sounded, Y ! 

3 n sullen vengeance, I disdain'd reply : 

The Pedant swung his felon cudgel 
round. 

And knockM the groaning vowel to 
the ground ! 

In rueful apprehension enter'd O, 

The wailing minstrel of despairingw^oe : 

Th^ Inquisitor of Spain the most ex- 
pert. 

Might there have learnt new mysteries 
of his art. 

So grim, deformM, with horrors en- 
tering, U 

His dearest friend and brother scarcely 
knew ! 



As trembling U stood staring aL 

aghast. 
The Pedant in his left hand clutch'd 

him fast. 
In helpless infants' tears he dipped 

his right, 
Baptized him. eic, and kick'd him from 

his sight. 



ON THE ILLNESS OF A 
FAVOURITE CHILD. 

[" It is hard to believe that Burns, though 
liis taste in English was none of the finest, 
could ever transcribe such immitigable rub- 
bish." — Centenary Edition?^ 



Now liealth forsakes that angel face. 

Nae mair my dearie smiles. 
Pale sickness withers ilka grace. 

And a* my hopes beguiles. 



II. 

The cruel Powers reject the prayer 

I hourly mak' for thee : 
Ye Heavens ! how great is my despair ! 

How can I see him die ! 



ON THE DEATH OF A FA- 
VOURITE CHILD. 



[Burns's daughter, Elizabeth Riddell, 
died in the autumn of 1795. But this fact 
can scarce be regarded as proof of the 
authenticity of the verses.] 



I. 

O, SWEET be thy sleep in the land of 
the grave, 
My dear little angel, for ever ! 
For ever ? — O no ! let not man be 
a slave. 
His hopes from existence to sever ! 



A TIPPLING BALLAD. 



357 



II. 

Though cold be the clay, where thou 
pillow'st thy head 
In the dark, silent mansions of sor- 
row, 
The spring shall return to thy low, 
narrow bed, 
Like the beam of the day-star to- 
morrow. 

in. 

The flower-stem shall bloom like thy 
sweet seraph form 
Ere the spoiler had nipt thee in 
blossom. 
When thou shrank frae the scowl of 
the loud winter storm, 
And nestled thee close to that 
bosom. 

IV. 

O, still J behold thee, all lovely in 
death. 
Reclined on the lap of thy mother, 



When the tear-trickle bright, when 
the short stifled breath 
Told how dear ye were ay to each 
other. 



V. 

My child, thou art gone to the home 
of thy rest. 
Where suffering no longer can 
harm thee : 
Where the songs of the Good, where 
the hymns of the Blest 
Through an endless existence shall 
charm thee ! 



VI. 

While he, thy fond parent, must sigh- 
ing sojourn 
Through the dire desert regions of 
sorrow. 
O'er the hope and misfortune of being 
to mourn, 
And sigh for this life's latest mor- 
row. 



POEMS OF DOUBTFUL AUTHENTICITY. 



The following poems are not considered sufficiently authenticated — or perhaps for other 
reasons — to be included in the "Centenary Edition." They are printed either in the 
Wallace-Chambers edition or in the edition of Andrew Lang, or in both, as well as in 
some of the earlier editions. The notes prefixed to each poem will sufficiently explain the 
occasion of their production. 



A TIPPLING BALLAD. 

ON THE r3UKE OF BRUNSWICK'S 
BREAKING UP HIS CAMP, AND 
THE DEFEAT OF THE AUSTRIANS, 
BY DUMOURIER, NOVEMBER, 1 792. 

[" The title explains the occasion : Burns's 
political sentiments supply the rest." — AN- 
DREW Lang. Parts of this ballad are 
printed in the Chambers and Globe Edi- 
tions.] 

When Princes and Prelates, 

And hot-headed zealots, 
A^ Europe had set in a low, a low, 



The poor man lies down. 
Nor envies a crown, 

And comforts himself as he dow, 
he dow, 

And comforts himself as he dow. 



as 



The black-headed eagle. 

As keen as a beagle, 
He hunted o'er height and o'er howe, 

In the braes o' Gemappe, 

He fell in a trap, 
E'en let him come out as he dow, dow, 

dow, 
E'en let him come out as he dow. 



358 



THE WREN'S NEST. — WHEN PLEASURE FASCINATES. 



But truce with commotions. 
And new-fangled notions, 

A bumper, I trust you '11 allow ; 

Here *s George our good king. 
And Charlotte his queen, 

And lang may they ring as they dow, 
dow, dow. 

And lang may they ring as they dow. 



THE WREN^S NEST. 

[" Burns communicated to Johnson, for 
the fifth volume of the ' ^Iuseum,• the 
following fragment of a nursery ballad on 
the loves of Robin and the Wren, taken 
from Jean Armour's singing. It appears 
to be part of another fragment on same 
subject, preserved by David Herd." — 
William Scott Douglas.] 

The Robin to the Wren's nest 

Cam keekin in, cam keekin in ; 
O weel 's me on your auld pow. 

Wad ye be in, wad ye be in ? 
Thou 's ne'er get leave to lie without, 

And I within, and I within. 
As lano^ 's I hae an auld clout 

To rowe ye in, to rowe ye in. 



MY GIRL SHE'S AIRY. 

[" The date is 1784 ; the girl may be any- 
body. The remaining lines of this piece 
have never been printed in full." — ANDREW 
Lang. Printed also in Chambers.] 

My girl she 's airy, she 's buxom and 

gay : 
Her breath is as sweet as the blossoms 

in May ; 
A touch of her lips it ravishes quite : 
She \s always good natur'd, good 

humor'd, and free ; 
She dances, she glances, she smiles 

upon me ; 
I never am happy when out of her 

sight. 



THE PLOUGHMAN'S LIFE. 

[" Possibly this is a scrap from tradition, 
which Burns may have written down, with 
no idea of claiming it for his own." — AN- 
DREW Lang. Printed also in Chambers.] 



As I was a-w^and'ring ae morning in 



I heard a young ploughman sae 

sweetly to sing ; 
And as he was singin', thir words he 

did say, — 
There 's nae life like the ploughman's 

in the month o' sweet May. 

The lav'rock in the morning she '11 

rise frae her nest, 
And mount i' the air wi' the dew on 

her breast, 
And wi' the merry ploughman she '11 

whistle and sing, 
And at night she '11 return to her nest 

back again. 



SOUND BE HIS SLEEP. 

[Said to liave been found on a w indow 
in the Cross Keys Inn at Falkirk, where 
Burns had spent the night. Printed in the 
Chambers Edition.] 

Sound be his sleep and blithe his 
morn 

That never did a lassie wrang ; 
Who poverty ne'er held in scorn — 

For misery ever tholed a pang. 



WHEN PLEASURE FASCI- 
NATES. 

[In a letter to Mrs. Dunlop, Jan. 31, 1796. 
Printed in the Chambers Edition.] 

When pleasure fascinates the mental 
sight, 
Affliction purifies the visual ray, 



DEAR SIR, OUR LUCKY HUMBLY BEGS. 



359 



Religion hails the drear, the untried, 
night, 
And shuts, for ever shuts ! life's 
doubtful day. 



ON THOMAS KIRKPATRICK, 
LATE BLACKSMITH IN 
STOOP. 

[Printed in the Chambers Edition.] 

Here lies, 'mang ither useless matters, 
Auld Thomas wi' his endless clatters. 



SICK OF THE WORLD. 

[Enclosed in a letter to Clarinda, Jan. 21, 
1788. Printed in the Chambers Edition.] 

Sick of the world and all its joy, 
My soul in pining sadness mourns ; 
Dark scenes of woe my mind employ, 
The past and present in their turns. 



THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE. 

[" This anonymous quatrain appeared in 
the ' Dumfries Weekly Journal * of July 7, 
1795. Circumstantial and internal evidence 
are proof that it is from the pen of Burns." — 
Chambers Edition.'] 

Long have the learned sought^ ' with- 
out success, 

To find w^hat you alone, O Pitt, 
possess ! 

Thou only hast the magic power to 
draw 

A guinea from a head not worth a 
st7'aw. 



NOW, GOD IN HEAVEN. 

[Enclosed in a letter to M. Fyffe, Sur- 
geon, Edinburgh. Printed in the Chambers 
Edition.] 

Now, God in heaven bless Reekie's 
town 
With plenty, joy, and peace ! 



And may her wealth and fair renown 
To latest times encrease ! ! ! — 
Amen. 



LEEZIE LINDSAY. 

[Printed in the Chambers Edition.] 

Will ye go to the Hielands, Leezie 
Lindsay ? 
Will ye go to the Hielands wi' me? 
Will ye go to the Hielands, Leezie 
Lindsay, 
My pride and my darling to be ? 



IT MAY — DO — MAUN — DO. 

[Enclosed in a letter to John Arnot, of 
Dalquhatsvvood, Esq., April, 1786. Printed 
in the Chambers Edition.] 

It may — do — maun — do. Sir, wi' 

them wha 
Maun please the great folk for a 

wame-fou ; 
For me, sae laigh I need na bow, 
For, Lord be thankit ! I can plough : 
And when I downa yoke a naig, 
Then, Lord be thankit ! I can beg. — 



DEAR SIR, OUR LUCKY 
HUMBLY BEGS. 

[Enclosed in a letter to Mr. Alexander 
Findlater, June 17, 1791. Printed in the 
Chambers Edition.] 

Dear Sir, Our Lucky humbly begs 
Ye '11 prie her caller, new-laid eggs : 
Lord grant the cock may keep her legs 
Aboon the chuckies ; 
***** 

Nae cursed, clerical excise 
On honest Natiu"e's laws and ties : 
Free as the vernal breeze that flies 
At early day, 



36o 



COME FILL ME A BUMPER. 



We 'd tasted Nature's richest joys 
But stint or stay. 

But as this subject 's something kittle. 
Our wisest way 's to say but Httle, 
Yetj while my Muse is at her mettle, 

I am, most fervent, 
Or may I die upon a whittle ! 

Your friend and ser\'ant, 
Robert Burns. 



I LOOK TO THE WEST. 

[Enclosed in a note to Alexander Cun- 
ningham, March 12, 1791. Printed in the 
Chambers Edition.] 

I LOOK to the west when I gae to rest, 

That happy my dreams and my 

slumbers may be ; 

For far in the west lives he I lo'e best — 

The lad that is dear to my babie 

and me ! 



AH, CHLORIS ! 

[The two following stanzas were enclosed 
in a letter to Mr. Alexander Findlater, Sep- 
tember, 1794. Printed in the Chambers 
Edition.] 

" Ah, Chloris, could I now but sit 
As unconcerned as when 

Your infant beauty could beget 
Nor happiness nor pain.*" 



KIST YESTREEN, KIST YES- 
TREEN. 

^^ KiST yestreen, kist yestreen, 

O as I was kist yestreen, 
I '11 ne'er forget while the hollin grows 

green. 
The bonie sweet lassie I kist yestreen.'' 



COME FILL ME A BUMPER. 

[Adapted by Burns. Printed in the 
Chambers Edition.] 

Come fill me a bumper, my jolly, 
brave boys, 

Let 's have no more female imperti- 
nence and noise ; 

I 've tried the endearments and witch- 
craft of love, 

And found them but nonsense and 
whimsies, by Jove. 

Chorus, 

Truce with your love ! no more of 

your love ; 
The bottle henceforth is my mistress 

by Jove. 



EXTEMPORE LINES. 

[In answer to a card from an intimate 
friend of Burns, wishing him to spend an 
hour at a tavern.] 

The king's poor blackguard slave 
am I, 

And scarce dow spare a minute ; 
But I '11 be with you by and bye. 

Or else the devil 's in it ! 



THANKSGIVING FOR A 
TIONAL VICTORY. 



NA- 



[" Adapted from Hues ' on the Thanks- 
giving Day for Perth and Preston, 17th 
June, 1716' (Maidment's 'Scottish Pasquils,' 
1868). The victory Burns celebrated was 
doubtless Howe's, off Ushant, ist June, 
1794." — Chambers, revised by William 
Wallace.] 

Ye hypocrites, are these your pranks ? 
To murder men and give God thanks ? 
Desist, for shame ! Proceed no 

further : 
God won't accept your thanks for 

murther. 



THE HERMIT OF ABERJELDY. 



361 



POEMS REJECTED BY LATEST EDITORS OF 

BURNS. 

The following poems have been printed in nearly all the earlier editions of Burns, and 
many of them are reprinted in late editions, as being undoubtedly the poet's productions. 
Other editors have been more critical, and have rejected them as being either spurious, 
or not verified. But as the readers of Burns have been so long accustomed to see them in 
the pages of their favorite poet, it has been considered best to print them, with this expla- 
nation. The volumes in which they have appeared are the Kilmarnock (William Scott 
Douglas), the edition edited by Alexander Smith, Oxford (edited by Logie Robertson, 
M.A.), the London edition of Bliss, Sands, & Co., and the Albion edition, published by 
F.'Warne & Co. 



THE HERMIT OF ABERFELDY. 

FIRST COLLECTED IN HOGG AND 
MOTHERWELL'S EDITION, 1 834-3 5. 

[" Very few readers of Burns can be 
persuaded that these verses were composed 
by him. They were furnished to Mother- 
well by Peter Buchan of Peterhead. The 
poet reached Aberfeldy towards evening, 
on 30th August, 1787, stayed half an hour, 
and was back to Dunkeld for supper. He 
described the Falls in undying song, as all 
the world knows; but when were these 
heavy lines composed ? The term, ' desert 
drear,' used in the opening verse, shows 
that this Hermit belonged to some other 
quarter than Aberfeldy, where all is as ' light- 
some' as the poet's song." — WILLIAM 
ScoTT Douglas.] 

I. 

Whoe'er thou art, these lines now 

reading. 
Think not, though from the world 

receding, 
i joy my lonely days to lead in 
This desert drear — 
That fell remorse, a conscience bleed- 
ing 

Hath led me here ! 



II. 

No thought of guilt my bosom sours ; 
Free-wiird I fled from courtly bowers ; 



For w^ell I saw in halls and towers 
That lust and pride — 
The arch-fiend's dearest, darkest 
powers. 

In state preside. 

III. 

I saw mankind with vice incrusted ; 
I saw that honor's sword was rusted. — 
That few for aught but folly lusted, — 
That he was still deceived who tmsted 

To love or friend ; 
And hither came, with men disgusted, 

Mv life to end. 



IV. 

In this lone cave, in garments lowly, 

Alike a foe to noisy folly, 

And brow-bent, gloomy melancholy, 

I wear away 
My life, and in my office holy 

Consume the day. 



V. 

This rock my shield when storms are 

blowing, 
The limpid streamlet yonder flowing 
Supplying drink, the earth bestowing 

My simple food : 
But few enjoy the calm I know in 

This desert wood. 



362 



TO CLARINDA.^THE RUINED MAID'S LAMENT. 



VI. 

Content and comfort bless me more in 
This grot, than e'er I felt before in 
A palace — and with thoughts still 
soaring 

To God on high, 
Each night and morn with voice im- 
ploring, 

This wish I sigh : 

VII. 

^ Let me, O Lord I from life retire, 
Unknown each guilty, worldly fire, 
Remorse's throb, or loose desire, — 

And when 1 die. 
Let me in this belief expire, — 

To God I fly.' 

VIII. 

Stranger ! if full of youth and riot, 
And yet no grief has marr'd tliy quiet. 
Thou haply throw'st a scornful eye at 

The hermit's prayer; 
But if thou hast good cause to sigh at 

Thy fault or care — 



IX. 

If thou hast known false love's vexa- 
tion, 
Or hast been exiled from thy nation. 
Or guilt affrights thy contemplation. 

And makes thee pine, 
Oh ! how must thou lament thy sta- 
tion, 

And envy mine I 



PASTORAL VERSES TO 
CLARINDA. 

["This piece — omitted in all collections 
of the poet's works that we are aware of, 
except Blackie's edition of 1861 — is not 
contained, although apparently referred to, 
in the ' Clarinda Correspondence,' edited 
by the lady's grandson, in 1843. The verses 
seem to bear some marks of authenticity, 



although certainly they are not in the poet's 
best style." — William Scott Douglas.] 



I. 



Before I saw Clarinda's face, 
Aly heart was blythe and gay. 

Free as the wind, or feathered race 
That hop from spray to spray ' 



II. 



But now, dejected I appear, 
Clarinda proves unkind ; 

I, sighing, drop the silent tear, 
But no relief can find. 



III. 



In plaintive notes, my lays rehearse 
The woes which fail to move ; 

And every tree records a verse 
In praise of her I love : 



IV. 

But she, ungrateful, shuns my sight — 

My faithful love disdains. 
My vows and tears her scorn excite — 

A?iother happy reigns. 

V. 

Ah, though my looks my love betray, 

I envy his success ; 
Yet love to friendship shall give 
way,— ^ 

I cannot wish it less. 



THE RUINED MAID^S LAMENT. 

[" Allan Cunningham has not the ques- 
tionable merit of this fabrication : to William 
Motherwell we must accord that honor. 
Tempted by Allan's success, he tried his 
hand on doctoring a piece at p. 51 of the 
' Crochallan ' volume. Verses i, 4, and 5 
are entirely Motherwell's own ; while 2, 3, 6, 
and 7 are very nearly Burns's words. In 
consideration of the pathetic beauty of the 
song we think it proper to reprint Mother- 



THE BANKS OF NITH.— HAPPY FRIENDSHIP. 



363 



well's adaptation." — WILLIAM ScoTT 
Douglas.] 



O MEiKLE do I rue, fause love, 

O sairly do I rue, 
That e'er I heard your flattering 
tongue, 

That e'er your face I knew. 

II. 

O I hae tint my rosy cheeks, 
Likewise my waist sae sma' ; 

And I hae lost my lightsome heart 
That Uttle wist a fa\ 



III. 

Now I maun thole the scornfu' sneer 

O' mony a saucy quine ; 
When gin the truth were a' but kent. 

Her life 's been waur than mine. 



IV. 

Whene'er my father thinks on me 

He stares into the wa' ; 
My mither, she has ta'en the bed 

Wi' thinking on my fa\ 



Whene'er I hear my father's foot, 
My heart wad burst wi' pain ; 

Whene'er I meet my mither's e'e. 
My tears rin down like rain. 

VI. 

Alake I sae sweet a tree as love 
Sic bitter fruit should bear ! 

Alake ! that e'er a merry heart 
Should draw a sauty tear ! 

VIIc 

But Heaven's curse will blast the man 

Denies the bairn he got. 
Or leaves the merry lass he lo'ed. 

To wear a ragged coat. 



THE BANKS OF NITH. 

A BALLAD. 

[Printed in Globe Edition (Alexander 
Smith) and Bliss & Sands'.] 



To thee, lov'd Nith, thy gladsome 
plains, 
Where late wi' careless thought I 
rang'd, 
Though prest wi' care and sunk in 
woe. 
To thee I bring a heart unchang'd. 

II. 

I love thee, Nith, thy banks and braes, 
Tho' mem'ry there my bosom tear ; 

For there he rov'd that brake my 
heart, 
Yet to that heart, ah, still how dear ! 



HAPPY FRIENDSHIP. 

[Printed in edition of Bliss, Sands, & Co.] 



Here around the ingle bleezing, 
Wha sae happy and sae free ; 

Tho' the northern wind blaws freez- 
ing, 
Frien'ship warms baith you and me. 

Chorus, 

Happy we are a' thegither<, 
Happy we '11 be yin an' a', 

Time shall see us a' the blyther, 
Ere we rise to gang awa'. 

II. 

See the miser o'er his treasure 
Gloating wi' a greedy e'e ! 

Can he feel the glow o' pleasure 
That around us here we see ? 



364 



COME REDE ME. — ACCEPT THE GIPT. 



III. 

Can the peer, in silk and ermine, 
Ca' his conscience half his own ; 

His claes are spun an^ edged wi' 
vermin, 
Tho' he Stan' afore a throne ! 



IV. 

I'hus then let us a' be tassing 
Aff our stoups o' gen'rous flame ; 

An' while roun' the board 't is pass- 
ing, 
Raise a sang in friendship's name. 



Friendship mak's us a' mair happy, 
Friendship gi'es us a' delight ; 

Friendship consecrates the drappie. 
Friendship brings us here to-night, 

Chorus, 

Happy we've been a' thegither. 

Happy we 've been yin an' a', 
Time shall find us a' the blyther 

When we rise to gang awa'. 



COME REDE ME, DAME. 

[Printed in edition of Bliss, Sands, & Co., 
and Albion Edition.] 



Come rede me, dame, come tell me, 
dame, 

And nane can tell mair truly, 
What color maun the man be of, 

To love a woman duly. 

II. 

The carlin clew baith up and down. 
And leugh and answerd ready, 

I learn'd a sang in Annandale, 
A dark man for my lady. 



III. 



But for a country quean like thee, 
Young lass, I tell thee fairly. 

That wi' the white I 've made a shift, 
And brown will do fu' rarely. 



IV. 



There 's mickle love in raven locks, 
The flaxen ne'er grows youden. 

There 's kiss and hause me in the 
brown. 
And glory in the gowden. 



VERSES WRITTEN UNDER 
VIOLENT GRIEF. 

[" We have little faith in the authenticity 
of this production, which is said to have 
first been printed in the Sun newspaper, 
in April, 1823. It is supposed to have 
been originally written on a presentation 
copy of his Kilmarnock volume, in the 
summer of 1786." — WILLIAM SCOTT 

Douglas.] 

I. 

Accept the gift a friend sincere 

Wad on thy worth be pressin' ; 
Remembrance oft may start a tear, 
But oh ! that tenderness forbear. 
Though 't wad my sorrows lessen. 

II. 

My morning raise sae clear and fair, 

I thought sair storms w^ad never 
Bedew the scene ; but grief and care 
In wildest fury hae made bare 
My peace, my hope, for ever ! 

III. 

You think I 'm glad ; oh, I pay weel 

For a' the joy I borrow, 
In solitude — then, then I feel 
I canna to mysel' conceal 

My deeply-ranklin' sorrow. 

IV. 

Farewell ! within thy bosom free 
A sigh may whiles awaken f 



AS I WAS A-WANDERING. — COULD AUGHT OF SONG. 



365 



A tear may wet thy laughin' e'e, 
For Scotia's son — ance gay like 
thee — 
Now hopeless, comfortless, for- 
saken ! 



AS I WAS A-WANDERING. 

[" Burns has merely made some changes 
upon an old song." — Chambers, ^-^z/. by 
Wallace.] 



As I was a- wandering ae midsummer 
e'enin', 
The pipers and youngsters were 
making their game ; 
Amang them I spied my faithless 
fause lover, 
Which bled a' the wounds o' my 
dolor again. 

Chorus, 

Weel, since he has left me, may 
pleasure gae wi' him ; 
I may be distressed, but I winna 
complain ; 
I flatter my fancy I may get anither, 
My heart it shall never be broken 
for ane. 

11. 

I couldna get sleeping till dawin for 
greeting 
The tears trickled down like the 
hail and the rain : 
Had I na got greetin', my heart wad 
ha' broken, 
For oh ! love forsaken 's a torment- 
ing pain. 



III. 

Although he has left me for greed o' 
the siller. 



I dinna envy him the gains he can 

win ; 
I rather wad bear a' the lade o' my 

sorrow 
Than ever hae acted sae faithless 

to him.i 



COULD AUGHT OF SONG. 



[" This elegant composition is so want- 
ing in some of the characteristic features of 
Burns's lyrics, that, by many, it has been 
doubted to be a product of his muse, and 
some have suggested Dr. Beattie as its 
probable author. Burns's Ms., however, 
is still in the possession of Johnson's repre- 
sentatives by purchase, and his name is 
affixed to the song in the fifth volume of the 
" Museum." — WILLIAM SCOTT DOUG- 
LAS.] 



Could aught of song declare my 
pains. 
Could artful numbers move thee, 
The muse should tell, in labored 
strains, 
O Mary, how I love thee ! 
They who but feign a wounded 
heart, 
May teach the lyre to languish ; 
But what avails the pride of art, 
When wastes the soul with an- 
guish ? 



II. 



Then let the sudden bursting sigh, 

The heart-felt pang discover ; 
And in the keen, yet tender eye, 

O read th' imploring lover ! 
For well I know, thy gentle mind 

Disdains art's gay disguising ; 
Beyond what Fancy e'er refin'd, 

The voice of Nature prizing. 



* The last stanza appears on p. 347 of this edition. 



366 ON HIMSELF. — LASS, WHEN YOUR MITHER IS FRAE HAME. 



ON HIMSELF. 

[Printed in Globe Edition.] 

Here comes Burns 

On Rosinante ; 
She 's d — poor, 

But he ^s d — canty ! 



EPITAPH ON THE POETS 
DAUGHTER. 

[Printed in edition of Bliss, Sands, & Co., 
and in Globe Edition.] 

Here lies a rose, a budding rose. 

Blasted before its bloom ; 
Whose innocence did sweets disclose 

Beyond that flower's perfume. 
To those who for her loss are grieved, 

This consolation 's given — 
She 's from a world of woe relieved, 

And blooms a rose in heaven. 



I MET A LASS, A BONIE 
LASS. 

["This song is made up from two verses 
of a song in the ' Crochallan ' volume." — 
William Scott Douglas.] 

I MET a lass, a bonie lass. 

Coming o'er the braes o' Couper, 
Bare her leg and bright her een. 

And handsome ilka bit about her. 
Weel I wat she was a quean 

Wad made a body's mouth to water ; 
Our Mess John, wi' his lyart pow. 

His haly lips wad lickit at her. 



ON MARIA DANCING. 

[Printed in the edition of BHss, Sands, 
& Co., and in the Oxford Edition.] 

How gracefully Maria leads the dance ! 
She 's life itself. I never saw a foot 



So nimble and so elegant ; it speaks, 
And the sweet whispering poetry it 

makes 
Shames the musician. 



JENNY M^CRAW. 

[Printed in the Globe and Oxford Edi- 
tions. Scott Douglas says : " The original 
song, at page 102 of the ' Crochallan ' vol- 
ume, consists of three verses to the tune of 
' The Bonie Moor-hen,' of which Allan's six 
lines are a weak travesty."] 

Jenny M'Craw, she has ta^en to the 

heather, 
Say, was it the covenant carried her 

thither ; 
Jenny M'Craw^ to the mountains is 

gane. 
Their leagues and their covenants a' 

she has ta'en ; 
My head and my heart, now quo' she, 

are at rest, 
And as for the lave, let the Deil do 

his best. 



LASS, WHEN YOUR MITHER 
IS FRAE HAME. 

[Extracted from Burns's " Common-Place 
Book," but the authenticity is doubtful. 
Printed in Globe and Oxford Editions.] 

I. 

Lass, w^hen your mither is frae hame, 

Might I but be sae bauld 
As come to your bower- window, 

And creep in frae the cauld. 
As come to your bower-window, 

And when it 's cauld and wat, 
Warm me in thy sweet bosom ; 

Fair lass, wilt thou do that ? 

II. 

Young man. gif ye should be sae kind, 
When our gudewife 's frae hame, 

As come to my bower-window, 
Whare I am laid my lane, 



LAMENT. — O ^^AT YE WHAT MY MINNIE DID? 



367 



And warm thee in my bosom — 

But I will tell thee\vhat, 
The way to me lies through the kirk, 

Young man, do you hear that ? 



LAMENT. 



[Written at a time when the poet was 
about to leave Scotland. Printed in the 
Globe and Oxford Editions.] 



O'er the mist-shrouded cliffs of the 
lone mountain straying, 
Where the wild winds of winter in- 
cessantly rave. 
What woes wring my heart while in- 
tently surveying 
The storm's gloomy path on the 
breast of the wave. 



II. 

Ye foam-crested billows, allow me to 
wail, 
Ere ye toss me afar from my lov'd 
native shore ; 
Where the flower which bloom'd 
sweetest in Coila's green vale, 
The pride of my bosom, my Mary 's 
no more. 

III. 

No more by the banks of the stream- 
let we '11 wander. 
And smile at the moon's rimpled 
face in the wave; 
No more shall my arms cling with 
fondness around her. 
For the dew-drops of morning fall 
cold on her grave. 



rv. 

No more shall the soft thrill of love 
warm my breast, 
I haste with the storm to a far dis- 
tant shore : 



Where unknown, unlamented, my 
ashes shall rest, 
And joy shall revisit my bosom no 
more. 



O GIE MY LOVE BROSE, 
BROSE. 

[" This is the chorus and one of five verses 
— greatly altered — of a song in the ' Croch- 
allan ' volume." Printed in the Globe Edi- 
tion.] 

O GIE my love brose, brose, 

Gie my love brose and butter ; 
For nane in Carrick or Kyle 

Can please a lassie better. 
The lav'rock lo'es the grass. 

The muirhen lo'es the heather ; 
But gie me a braw moonlight. 

And me and my love together. 



O WAT YE WHAT MY MIN- 
NIE DID ? 

[Printed in the Globe and Oxford Edi- 
tions. Scott Douglas considers the verses 
spurious.] 

I. 

O WAT ye what my Minnie did, 

My Minnie did, my Minnie did, 
O wat ye what my Minnie did. 

On Tysday 'teen to me, jo ? 
She laid me in a saft bed, 

A saft bed, a saft bed. 
She laid me in a saft bed. 

And bade gudeen to me, jo. 

II. 

An' wat ye what the parson did. 

The parson did, the parson did, 
An' wat ye what the parson did, 

A' for a penny fee, jo? 
He loosed on me a lang man, 

A mickle man, a Strang man. 
He loosed on me a lang man. 

That might hae worried me, jo 



3^^ 



O WHA IS SHE THAT LO'ES ME. — EVAN BANKS. 



III. 

An' I was but a young thing, 

A young thing, a young thing, 
An' I was but a vounor thin or, 

Wi' nane to pity me. jo. 
I wat the kirk was in the wyte, 

In the wyte, in the wyte, 
To pit a young thing in a fright, 

An' loose a man on me, jo. 



O WHA IS SHE THAT LO'ES 
ME? 

fPrinted in the Globe, Oxford, and Al- 
bion Editions.] 

I. 

O WHA is she that lo'es me, 
And has my heart a-keeping? 

O sweet is she that lo'es me, ' 
As dews o' simmer weeping. 
In tears the rose-buds steeping. 

Chorus. 

O that 's the lassie o' my heart, 

My lassie ever dearer ; 
O that's the queen o' womankind, 

And ne'er a ane to peer her. 



11. 

If thou shalt meet a lassie. 

In grace and beauty charming, 

That e'en thy chosen lassie, 

Erewhile thy breast sae warming, 
Had ne'er sic powers alarming ; 
O that's, etc. 



III. 

If thou hadst heard her talking, 
And thy attentions plighted. 
That ilka body talking. 

But her by thee is slighted, 
' And thou art all delighted ; 
O that 's, etc. 



IV. 

If thou hast met this fair one, 
When frae her thou hast parted. 

If every other fair one. 

But her, thou hast deserted. 
And thou art broken-hearted ; 
O that's, etc. 



EVAN BANKS. 

[" Dr. Currie inserted this in his first 
edition, but withdrew it on finding it was 
the composition of Helen Maria Williams. 
Burns had copied it : his Ms. is now in the 
British Museum." — Globe Edition.] 



Slow spreads the gloom my soul 

desires, 
The sun from India's shore retires : 
To Evan Banks with temp'rate ray. 
Home of my youth, he leads the day. 

II. 
Oh Banks to me for ever dear ! 
Oh stream, whose murmur still I hear ! 
All, all my hopes of bliss reside 
Where Evan mingles with the Clyde. 

III. 

And she, in simple beauty drest. 
Whose image lives within my breast ; 
Who trembling heard my parting sigh. 
And long pursued me with her eye : 

IV. 

Does she, with heart unchang'd as 

mine. 
Oft in the vocal bowers recline ? 
Or, where yon grot o'erhangs the tide, 
Muse while the Evan seeks the Clyde r 



Ye lofty Banks that Evan bound. 
Ye lavish woods that wave around. 
And o'er the stream your shadows 

throw. 
Which sweetly winds so far below ; 



ON BURNS'S HORSE BEING IMPOUNDED. 



369 



VI. 

What secret charm to memVy brings, 
All that on Evan's border springs ! 
Sweet Banks ! ye bloom by Mary's 

side : 
Blest stream ! she views thee haste to 

Clyde. 

VII. 

Can all the wealth of India's coast 
Atone for years in absence lost ! 
Return, ye moments of delight, 
With richer treasures bless my sight ! 

VIII. 

Swift from this desert let me part, 
And fly to meet a kindred heart ! 
No more may aught my steps divide 
From that dear stream which flows to 
Clyde. 



POWERS CELESTIAL! WHOSE 
PROTECTION. 

[" These fine verses have no mark in the 
'Museum' to indicate their authorship; 
but, among the poet's Mss. after his death, 
they were found witli the title, ' A Prayer for 
Mary.' Internal evidence shows that the 
date of composition was in 1786, between 
the final parting of the lovers in May, and 
the time fixed for the poet's departure 
for the West Indies, some four or five 
months thereafter." — WILLIAM ScoTT 
Douglas.] 



Powers celestial ! whose protection 

Ever guards the virtuous fair, 
While in distant climes I wander, 

Let my Mary be your care : 
Let her form so fair and faultless — 

Fair and faultless as your own — 
Let my Mary^s kindred spirit 

Draw your choicest influence down ! 



II. 

Make the gales you waft around her 
Soft and peaceful as her breast ; 

2 B 



Breathing in the breeze that fans her, 
Soothe her bosom into rest : 

Guardian angels ! O protect her, 
When in distant lands I roam ; 

To realms unknown while fate exiles 
m.e, 
Make her bosom still my home ! 



O CAN YE SEW CUSHIONS ? 

[" The beautiful air, along with the nurs- 
ery words of this song, were communicated 
by Burns to Johnson, and, by the vocalism 
of Urbani, it soon became highly popular." 
— William Scott Douglas.] 

O CAN ye sew cushions ? and can ye 
sew sheets? 
And can ye sing bal-lu-loo when 
the bairn greets ? 
And hee and baw birdie, and hee and 
baw lamb ! 
And hee and baw birdie, my bonie 
wee lamb ! 
Hee, O ! wee, O ! what would I do 
wi' you ? 
Black 's the life that I lead wi' you ; 
Mony o' you, little for to gie you ; 
He, O ! wee, O ! what would I do 
wi' you ? 



ON BURNS'S HORSE BEING 
IMPOUNDED, 

AND HIS MASTER BROUGHT BEFORE 
THE MAYOR. 

[" This epigram is of doubtful authentic- 
ity, for we do not hear of the poet ever hav- 
ing been at Carlisle except once — namely, 
on 31st May, 1787, and the day following, 
while on his Border tour." — William 
ScoTT Douglas.] 

Was e'er puir poet sae befitted, 

The maister drunk — the horse com- 
mitted. 

Puir harmless beast ! tak' thee nae 
care, 

Thou 'It be a horse when he 's nae 
mair (mayor). 



370 



HUGHIE GRAHAM. — KATHARINE JAFFRAY. 



HUGHIE GRAHAM. 

["Cromek assures us that two verses of 
Hughie Graham ' are wholly by Burns, and 
t'.iat his corrections are visible in some 
others." — William Scott Douglas.] 

O LOWSE my right hand free, he says. 
And put my braid sword in the 
same ; 

He 's no' in Stirling toun this day, 
Dare tell the tale to Hughie Graham. 

They've ta'en him to the gallows- 
knowe, — 

He looket to the gallows-tree ; 
Yet never the color left his cheek, 

Nor ever did he blink his e'e. 

O hand your tongue, my father dear. 
And wi' your weeping let it be ; 

Thy weeping 's sairer on my heart, 
Than a' that they can do to me. 

And ye may tell my kith and kin, 
I never did disgrace their bluid ; 

And when they meet the bishop's 
cloak 
To mak' it shorter by the huid. 



THE SELKIRK GRACE. 

["Allan Cunningham records that this 
very characteristic ' Grace before meat ' 
was uttered at the table of the Earl of Sel- 
kirk, while on his tour through Galloway 
with his friend Svme in July, 1793." — 
William Scott Douglas.] 

Some hae meat and canna eat, 
And some wad eat that want it ; 

But we hae meat, and we can eat, 
And sae the Lord be thanket. 



DAMON AND SYLVIA. 

[" This pretty double-verse appears to 
have been first published, in its present 
jnodlfied form, in the ' Edinburgh Maga- 
zine' for January, 1818. It is the middle 
one of three double verses of a very warm 
character, which narrate the exploits of 



Damon and Sylvia on a Suinvier morn — 
this latter being the title of the piece in the 
' Crochallan ' volume, p. 49." — William 
Scott Douglas. Printed in Globe an(J 
Oxford Editions.] 

Yon wandering rill that marks the hill 

And glances o'er the brae, Sir, 
Slides by a bower where many a flower 

Sheds fragrance on the day, Sir; 
There Damon lay with Sylvia gay. 

To love they thought no crime, Sir ; 
The wild-birds sang, the echoes rang, 

While Damon's heart beat time, 
Sir. 



WHAN I SLEEP I DREAM. 

[Printed in Globe and Oxford Editions.] 
I. 

Whan I sleep I dream, 

Whan I wauk I 'm eerie, 
Sleep I canna get. 

For thinkin' o' my dearie. 

II. 

Lanely night comes on, 

A^ the house are sleeping, 
I think on the bonie lad 

That has my heart a keeping. 
Ay waukin, O, waukin ay and 

wearie. 
Sleep I canna get, for thinkin' o' 
my dearie. 

III. 

Lanely night comes on, 

A' the house are sleeping, 
I think on my bonie lad. 

All' I bleer my een wi' greetin^ ! 
Ay waukin, etc. 



KATHARINE JAFFRAY. 

[Printed in Globe, Oxford, and Albion 
Editions.] 

I. 

There Hv'd a lass in yonder dale, 
And down in yonder glen, O ; 



BRAW LADS OF GALLA WATER. — LIBERTY. 



371 



And Katharine Jaffray was her name, 
Weel known to many men, O. 



II. 



Out came the Lord of Lauderdale, 
Out frae the south countrie, O, 

All for to court this pretty maid, 
Her bridegroom for to be, O. 



III. 



He 



s teird her father and mother 
baith. 
As I hear sindry say, O ; 
But he has na telPd the lass herseP ; 
Till on her wedding day, O. 



IV. 

Then came the Laird o^ Lochinton 
Out frae the English border. 

All for to court this pretty maid. 
All mounted in good order. 



BRAW LADS OF GALLA 
WATER. 

["This is in Johnson's second vol., p. 
131, copied verbatim from Herd's Collec- 
tion, 1776 (vol. ii. p. 202), so that it is quite 
an error to include it in Burns's works as 
some editors have done. Burns in his notes, 
records a ' concluding verse,' which appears 
very like his own manufacture : — 

' And ay she cam' at evening fa\ 
A7na7ig the yellow broom, sae eerie, 

To seek the snood 0' silk she tint, — 
She fan d 7ia that, but met her dearie.' " 

— William Scott Douglas.] 
[Printed in the Globe Edition.] 



C/wrus. 

Braw, braw lads of Galla Water ; 

O braw lads of Galla Water ! 
I ^11 kilt my coats aboon my knee. 

And follow my love through the 
water. 



I. 

Sae fair her hair, sae brent her brow, 
Sae bonie blue her een, my dearie ; 

Sae white her teeth, sae sweet her 
mou\ 
The mair I kiss she 's ay my dearie. 

II. 

O'er yon bank and o'er yon brae. 
O'er yon moss amang the heather ; 

I '11 kilt my coats aboon my knee. 
And follow my love through the 
water. 

III. 

Down amang the broom, the broom, 
Down amang the broom, my dearie. 

The lassie lost a silken snood, 

That cost her mony a blirt and 
bleary. 

Chonis. 

Braw, braw lads of Galla Water ; 

O braw lads of Galla Water ! 
I '11 kilt my coats aboon my knee, 

And follow my love 
water. 



through 



the 



LIBERTY. 

A FRAGMENT. 

[Printed in the Globe Edition.] 

Thee, Caledonia, thy wild heaths 

among, 
Thee, famed for martial deed and 
sacred song. 
To thee I turn with swimming 
eyes ; 
Where is that soul of Freedom fled ? 
Immingled with the mighty dead ! 
Beneath the hallow'd turf where 
Wallace lies. 
Hear it not, Wallace, in thy bed of 
death ! 
Ye babbling winds, in silence 
sweep ; 



oi 



2 THE LAST BRAW BRIDAL.— YE HAE LIEX X WRAXG, LASSIE 



Disturb not ye the hero's sleep, 
Nor give the coward secret breath. 
Is this the power in Freedom's 

war, 
That wont to bid the battle rage ? 
Behold that eye which shot immortal 
hate, 
Crushing the despot's proudest 
bearing, 
That arm which, nerved with thunder- 
ing fate, 
Brav'd usurpation's boldest daring ! 
One quenched in darkness like the 

sinking star. 
And one the palsied arm of tottering, 
powerless age. 



THE LAST BRAW BRIDAL. 

[Printed in the Globe and Albion Edi- 
tions.] 

The last braw bridal that I was at, 

'T was on a Hallowmass day. 
And there was routh o' drink and 
fun. 
And mickle mirth and play. 
The bells they rang, and the carlins 
sang, 
And the dames danced in the ha' ; 
The bride went to bed wi' the silly 
bridegroom. 
In the midst o' her kimmers a\ 



THERE CAME A PIPER. 

[Printed in the Globe and Albion Edi- 
tions.] 

There came a piper out o' Fife, 
I watna what they ca'ed him ; 

He play'd our cousin Kate a spring, 
When fient a body bade him. 

And ay the mair he hotch'd an' blew, 
The mair that she forbade him. 



THERE'S NAETHIN LIKE 
THE HONEST NAPPY. 

[Printed in the Globe Edition.] 

There's naethin like the honest 

nappy ! 
Whaur '11 ye e'er see men sae happy, 
Or women sonsie, saft an' sappy, 

'Tween morn an' morn, 
As them wha like to taste the drappie 
In glass or horn. 

I 've seen me daez't upon a time ; 
I scarce could wink or see a styme ; 
Just ae hauf mutchkin does me prime, 

Ought less is little, 
Then back I rattle on the rhyme 

As gleg 's a whittle ! 



WHEN I THINK ON THE 
HAPPY DAYS. 

[Printed in the Globe and Albion Edi- 
tions.] 

When I think on the happy days 
I spent wi' you. my dearie ; 

And now what lands between us lie. 
How can I be but eerie ! 

How slow ye move, ye heavy hours, 
As ye were wae and weary ! 

It was na sae ye glinted by 
When I w^as wi' my dearie. 



YE HAE LIEN A' WRANG, 
LASSIE. 

[Printed in the Globe and Albion Edi= 
tions.] 

Ye hae lien a' wrang, lassie, 

Ye 've lien a' wrang ; 
Ye 've lien in an unco bed, 

And wi' a fremit man. 



JOHNNY PEER — ON RUINS OF LINCLUDEN ABBEY 



373 



O ance ye danced upon the knowes, 
And ance ye lightly sang — 

But in herrying o' a bee byke, 
I 'm rad ye Ve got a stang. 



JOHNNY PEEP. 

[Printed in the Albion Edition.] 

Here am I. Johnny Peep : 
I saw three sheep. 

And these three sheep saw me ; 
Half-a-crown a-piece 
Will pay for their fleece, 

And so Johnny Peep gets free. 



INNOCENCE. 

[Allan Cunningham gives the lines as by 
Burns, and extols them highly. They are, 
however, probably quoted from some older 
poet.] 

— Innocence 

Looks gaily-smiling on ; while rosy 
pleasure 

Hides young desire amid her flowery 
wreath, 

And pours her cup luxuriant ; man- 
tling high 

The sparkling heavenly vintage, Love 
and Bliss ! 



VERSES 



ON AN EVENING VIEW OF THE RUINS 
OF LINCLUDEN ABBEY. 

[" These beautiful ruins are on the banks 
of the river Cluden, near Dumfries." — 
Albion Editio72.'\ 

Ye holy walls, that, still sublime, 
Resist the crumblinsf touch of time : 
How strongly still your form displays 
The piety of ancient days ! 



As tlirough your ruins, hoar and 

gray — 
Ruins yet beauteous in decay — 
The silvery moonbeams trembling fly : 
The forms of ages long gone by 
Crowd thick on Fancy's wondering 

eye. 
And wake the soul to musings high. 
Even now, as lost in thought profound, 
I view the solemn scene around. 
And, pensive, gaze with wistful e}'es, 
The past returns, the present flies ; 
Again the dome, in pristine pride, 
Lifts high its roof and arches wide, 
That, knit with curious tracery. 
Each Gothic ornament display. 
The high-arched windows, painted 

fair. 
Show many a saint and martyr there. 
As on their slender forms I gaze, 
Methinks they brighten to a blaze ! 
With noiseless step and taper bright, 
What are yon forms that meet my 

sight? 
Slowly they move, while every eye 
Is heavenward raised in ecstasy. 
'T is the fair, spotless, vestal train. 
That seek in prayer the midnight-fane. 
And, hark ! \Yhat more than mortal 

sound 
Of music breathes the pile around ? 
'T is the soft-chanted choral song. 
Whose tones the echoing aisles pro- 
long ; 
Till, thence returned, they softly stray 
O'er Cluden's wave, with fond delay ; 
Now on the rising gale swell high, 
And now in fainting murmurs die ; 
The boatmen on Nith's gentle stream. 
That glistens in the pale moonbeam. 
Suspend their dashing oars to hear 
The holy anthem, loud and clear ; 
Each worldly thought a while forbear 
And mutter forth a half-formed prayer. 
But, as I gaze, the vision fails. 
Like frost-work touched by southern 

gales ; 
The altar sinks, the tapers fade, 
And all the splendid scenes decayed. 
In window fair the painted pane 



374 



TO MY BED. — SHELAH O'NEIL. 



No longer glows with holy stain, 
But through the broken glass the gale 
Blows chilly from the misty vale ; 
The bird of eve flits sullen by, 
Her home these aisles and arches 

high 1 
The choral hymn, that erst so clear 
Broke softly sweet on Fancy's ear, 
Is drowned amid the mournful scream 
That breaks the magic of my dream ! 
Roused by the sound, I start and see 
The ruined sad reality. 



VERSES TO MY BED. 

[Printed in the Albion Edition.] 

Thou Bed, in which I first began 
To be that various creature — Man ! 
And when again the fates decree 
The place where I must cease to be ; 
When sickness comes, to whom I fly, 
To soothe my pain, or close mine 

eye, 
When cares surround me where I 

weep. 
Or lose them all in balmy sleep ; 
When sore with labor, whom I court, 
And to thy downy breast resort ; 
Where, too, ecstatic joys I find, 
When deigns my Delia to be kind — 
And full of love, in all her charms. 
Thou giv'st the fair one to my arms. 
The centre thou, where grief and 

pain. 
Disease and rest, alternate reign. 
Oh, since within thy little space 
So many various scenes take place ; 
Lessons as useful shalt thou teach. 
As sages dictate — churchmen preach ; 
And man, convinced by thee alone, 
This great important truth shall 

own : — 
That thin partitions do divide 
The bounds where good and ill re- 
side ; 
That nought is perfect here below ; 
But bliss still bordering upon woe. 



BRUCE. 



A FRAGMENT. 
[Printed in the Albion Edition.] 

His royal visage seamed with many 

a scar. 
That Caledonian reared his martial 

form. 
Who led the tyrant-quelling war, 
Where Bannockburn's ensanguined 

flood 
Swelled with mingling hostile blood. 
Soon Edward's myriads struck with 

deep dismay. 
And Scotia's troop of brothers win 

their way. 
(Oh, glorious deed to bay a tyrant's 

band ! 
Oh, heavenly joy to free our native 

land!) 
While high their mighty chief poured 

on the doubling storm. 



SHELAH O'NEIL. 

[Printed in the Albion Edition.] 

When first I began for to sigh and 
to woo her. 
Of many fine things I did say a 
great deal, 
But, above all the rest, that which 
pleased her the best. 
Was, oh ! will you marrv me, 
Shelah O'Neil ? 
My point I soon carried, for straight 
we were married, 
Then the weight of my burden I 
soon 'gan to feel, — 
For she scolded, she fisted — O then 
I enlisted. 
Left Ireland, and whiskey, and 
Shelah O'Neil. 



SHELAH O'XEIL. 



375 



Then tired and dull-hearted, O then 
I deserted. 
And fled into regions far distant 
from home. 
To Frederick's army, where none e'er 
could harm me. 
Save Shelah herself in the shape 
of a bomb. 



I fought every battle, where cannons 
did rattle, 
Felt sharp shot, alas I and the 
sharp-pointed steel : 
But. in all my wars round, thank my 
stars. I ne'er found 
Aught so sharp as the tongue of 
cursed Shelah O'Neil. 



MOTTO PREFIXED TO THE KILMARNOCK EDITION, 



" The simple Bard, unbroke by rules of art, 
He pours the wild effusions of the heart : 
And if inspired, *t is nature's pow'rs inspire 



Hers all the melting thrill. 



and hers the kindling fire." 



NOTES. 



HALLOWEEN. 

[The following notes by Burns, alluded to in 
the note to the text, will explain the traditions 
upon which the poem is based, and render it 
more intelligible to the non-Scottish reader.] 

1 Is thought to be a night when witches, 
devils, and other mischief-making beings 
are all abroad on their baneful midnight 
errands ; particularly those aerial people, the 
fairies, are said on that night to hold a 
grand anniversary. 

2 Certain little, romantic, rocky green hills, 
in the neighbourhood of the ancient seat of 
the Earls of Cassilis. 

3 A noted cavern near Colean-house, 
called the Cove of Colean ; which, as well 
as Cassilis Downans, is famed in country 
story for being a favourite haunt of fairies. 

4 The famous family of that name, the 
ancestors of Robert, the great deliverer of 
his country, were Earls of Carrick. 

5 The first ceremony of Halloween is pull- 
ing each a stock, or plant of kail. They 
must go out hand in hand, with eyes shut, 
and pull the first they meet with. Its being 
big or little, straight or crooked, is pro- 
phetic of the size and shape of the grand 
object of all their spells — the husband or 
wife. If any ^^y^, or earth, stick to the root, 
that is tocher, or fortune ; and the taste of 
the custock, that is the heart of the stem, is 
indicative of the natural temper and dis- 
position. Lastly, the stems, or to give them 
their ordinary appellation, the rtinis, are 
placed somewhere above the head of the 
door; and the Christian names of the 
people whom chance brings into the house 
are according to the priority of placing the 
runts, the names in question. 



6 They go to the barn-yard and pull each, 
at three different times, a stalk of oats. If 
the third stalk wants the tap-pickle, that is, 
the grain at the top of the stalk, the party 
in question will come to the marriage-bed 
anything but a maid. 

" When the corn is in a doubtful state, it 
being too green, or wet, the stack-builder, 
by means of old timber, etc., makes a large 
apartment in his stack, with an opening in 
the side which is fairest exposed to the 
wind : this he calls a Fause-house. 

8 Burning the nuts is a famous charm. 
They name the lad and the lass to each 
particular nut as they lay them in the fire ; 
and accordingly as they burn quietly to- 
gether, or start from beside one another, 
the course and issue of the courtship will 
be. 

9 Whoever would, with success, try this 
spell, must strictly observe these directions: 
Steal out, all alone, to the kiln, and dark- 
ling, throw into the pot 2l clue of blue yarn ; 
wind it in a new clue off the old one ; and 
towards the latter end something will hold 
the thread ; demand W/ia hauds ? i.e., who 
holds ? an answer will be returned from the 
kiln-pot, by naming the Christian and sur- 
name of your future spouse. 

10 Take a candle and go alone to a look- 
ing-glass ; eat an apple before it, and some 
traditions say you should comb your hair 
all the time ; the face of your conjugal com- 
panion to be will be seen in the glass, as if 
peeping over your shoulder. 

11 Steal out unperceived and sow a hand- 
ful of hemp-seed, harrowing it with anything 
you can conveniently draw after you. Re- 
peat now and then, '* Hemp-seed, I saw 
thee, hemp-seed, I saw thee; and him (or 

377 



378 



NOTES. 



her) that is to be my true-love, come after 
me and pou thee." Look over your left 
shoulder, and you will see the appearance 
of the person invoked in the attitude of 
pulling hemp. Some traditions say, " come 
after me and shaw thee," that is, show 
thyself; in which case it simply appears. 
Others omit the harrowing, and say," come 
after me and harrow thee." 

12 This charm must likewise be performed 
unperceived and alone. You go to the bar7i 
and open both doors, taking them off the 
hinges, if possible ; for there is danger that 
the be'mg about to appear may shut the 
doors, and do you some mischief. Then 
take that instrument used in winnowing the 
corn, which in our country dialect we call a 
wecht, and go through all the attitudes of 
letting down corn against the wind. Repeat 
it three times; and the third time an appa- 
rition will pass through the barn, in at the 
windy door and out at the other, having 
both the figure in question and the appear- 
ance or retinue marking the employment or 
station in life. 

13 Take an opportunity of going, un- 
noticed, to a Bear-stack.^xid fathom it three 
times round. The last fathom of the last 
time you will catch in your arms the appear- 
ance of your future conjugal yoke-fellow. 

i-i You go out, one or more (for this is a 
social spell), to a south running spring or 
rivulet, where " three lairds' lands meet," 
and dip your left shirt sleeve. Go to bed 
in sight of a fire, and hang your wet sleeve 
before it to dry. Lie awake, and some- 
where near midnight an apparition, having 
the exact figure of the grand object in ques- 
tion, will come and turn the sleeve, as if to 
dry the other side of it. 

15 Take three dishes ; put clean water in 
one, foul water in the other, and leave the 
third empty. Blindfold a person, and lead 
him to the hearth where the dishes are 
ranged ; he (or she) dips the left hand : if 
by chance in the clean water, the future 
husband or wife will come to the bar of 
matrimony a maid ; if the foul, a widow ; if 
in the empty dish, it foretells with equal cer- 
tainty no marriage at all. It is repeated 
three times, and every time the arrange- 
ment of the dishes is altered. 



i^Sowens, with butter instead of milk to 
them, is always the Halloween Supper, 

THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT. 

" ' The Cotter's Saturday Night' is 
included in the list of poems mentioned by 
Burns in his letter to Richmond, 17th Feb- 
ruary, 1786 ; it was therefore composed be- 
tween the beginning of November, 1785, and 
that date. Gilbert Burns relates that Robert 
first repeated it to him in the course of a 
walk one Sunday afternoon. He also states 
that the * hint of the plan, and the title of the 
poem,' were taken from Fergusson's ' Farm- 
er's Ingle.' 

" This is true, but the piece as a whole is 
formed on English models. It is the most 
artificial and the most imitative of Burns's 
works. Not only is the influence of Gray's 
' Elegy ' conspicuous, but also there are 
echoes of Pope, Thomson, Goldsmith, and 
even Milton; while the stanza, which was 
taken, not from Spenser, whom Burns had 
not then read, but from Beattie and Shen- 
stone, is so purely English as to lie outside 
the range of Burns's experience and accom- 
plishment. ' These English songs,* he wrote 
long afterwards (1794) to Thomson, 'gravel 
me to death. I have not that command of 
the language that I have of my native tongue. 
In fact, I think my ideas are more barren in 
English than in Scottish.' This is so far 
true as to make one wish that here, as else- 
where, he had chosen a Scots exemplar : 
that he had taken (say) not merely the 
scheme but also the stave — a, b, a, b, c, d, 
c,d,d — of The Farmer's Ingle,' and sought 
after effects which he could accomplish in a 
medium of which he was absolute master. 
As it is, * The Cotter's Saturday Night ' is 
supposed to paint an essentially Scottish 
phase of life ; but the Scottish element in 
the diction — to say nothing of the Scottish 
cast of the effect — is comparatively slight 
throughout, and in many stanzas is alto- 
gether wanting. In the '94 Edition the 
vernacular was a little coloured by a more 
general substitution of ' an ' for ' and' ' wi' ' 
for ' wU/i,' and so on. But it may be that 
Tytler, rather than Burns, was responsible 
for this; and the earlier orthography, being 



NOTES. 



379 



in better keeping with the general English 
cast, has been retained." — The Centenary 
Edition. 

"The quiet households of the kingdom 
have received a sort of apotheosis in ' The 
Cotter's Saturday Night.' It has been ob- 
jected that the subject does not afford scope 
for the more daring forms of the author's 
genius; but had he written no other poem, 
this heartful rendering of a good week's 
close in a God-fearing home, sincerely de- 
vout, and yet relieved from all suspicion of 
sermonizing by its humorous touches, would 
have secured a permanent place in our liter- 
ature. It transcends Thomson and Beattie 
at their best, and will smell sweet like the 
actions of the just for generations to come." 
— John Nichol, LL.D. 

TAM O' SHANTER. 

"Alloway Kirk was originally the 
church of the quoad civilia parish of Allo- 
way ; but this parish having been annexed 
to that of Ayr in 1690, the church fell more 
or less to ruin, and when Burns wrote had 
been roofless for half a century. It stands 
some two hundred yards to the north of the 
picturesque Auld Brig of Doon, which dates 
from about the beginning of the Fifteenth 
Century, and in Burns's time was the sole 
means of communication over the steep- 
banked Doon between Carrick and Kyle. 
The old road to Ayr ran west of the Kirk : 
the more direct road dating from the erec- 
tion of the New Brig — a little west of the 
old one — in 1815. 

" Burns's birthplace is about three-fourths 
of a mile to the north ; so that the ground 
and its legends were familiar to him from 
the first. Writing to Francis Grose (first 
published in Sir Egerton Brydges, * Censura 
Literaria,' 1796), 'Among the many witch- 
stories I have heard,' he says, ' relating to 
Alloway^ Kirk, I distinctly remember only 
two or three. Upon a stormy night, amid 
whistling squalls of wind and bitter blasts 
of hail — in short, on such a night as the 
devil would choose to take the air in — a 
farmer, or farmer's servant, was plodding 
and plashing homeward with his plough- 
irons on his shoulder, having been getting 



some repairs on them at a neighbouring 
smithy. His way lay by the Kirk of Allo- 
way ; and being rather on the anxious look- 
out in approaching a place so well known to 
be a favourite haunt of the devil, and the 
devil's friends and emissaries, he was struck 
aghast by discovering through the horrors 
of the storm and stormy night, a light, which 
on his nearer approach, plainly shewed it- 
self to proceed from the haunted edifice. 
Whether he had been fortified from above 
on his devout supplication, as is customary 
with people when they suspect the imme- 
diate presence of Satan, or whether, ac- 
cording to another custom, he had got 
courageously drunk at the smithy, I will 
not pretend to determine; but so it was, 
that he ventured to go up to, nay into, 
the very Kirk. As luck would have it, his 
temerity came off unpunished. The mem- 
bers of the infernal junto were all out on 
some midnight business or other, and he 
saw nothing but a kind of kettle or cauldron, 
depending from the roof, over the fire, sim- 
mering some heads of unchristened chil- 
dren, limbs of executed malefactors, etc., 
for the business of the night. It was, in for 
a penny, in for a pound with the honest 
ploughman : so without ceremony he un- 
hooked the cauldron from the fire, and 
pouring out the damnable ingredients, in- 
verted it on his head, and carried it fairly 
home, where it remained /ong in the family, 
a living evidence of the truth of the story. 
Another story, which I can prove to be 
equally authentic, was as follows: On a 
market day in the town of Ayr, a farmer 
from Carrick, and consequently whose way 
lay by the very gate of Alloway Kirkyard, 
in order to cross the river Doon at the old 
bridge, which is about two or three .vaudred 
yards further on than the said gate, had 
been detained by his business till by the 
time he reached Alloway it was the wizard 
hour between night and morning. Though 
he was terrified with a blaze streaming from 
the Kirk, yet, as it is a well-known fact that to 
turn back on these occasions is running by 
far the greatest risk of mischief, he prudently 
advanced on his road. When he had reached 
the gate of the Kirkyard, he was surprised 
and entertained, through the ribs and arches 



38o 



NOTES. 



of an old Gothic window, which still faces 
the highway, to see a dance of witches mer- 
rily footing it round their old sooty black- 
guard master, who was keeping them all 
alive with the power of his bagpipe. The 
farmer, stopping his horse to observe them 
a little, could plainly descry the faces of 
many old women of his acquaintance and 
neighbourhood. How the gentleman was 
dressed, tradition does not say, but that the 
ladies were all in their smocks: and one 
of them happening unluckily to have a 
smock which was considerably too short to 
answer all the purpose of that piece of dress, 
our farmer was so tickled that he involun- 
tarily burst out with a loud laugh, " Weel 
luppen, Maggy wi' the short sark ! " and 
recollecting himself, instantly spurred his 
horse to the top of his speed. I need not 
mention the universally known fact, that no 
diabolical power can pursue you beyond 
the middle of a running stream. Lucky it 
was for the poor farmer that the river Doon 
was so near, for notwithstanding the speed 
of the horse, which was a good one, when 
he reached the middle of the arch of the 
bridge, and consequently the middle of the 
stream, the pursuing vengeful hags were so 
close at his heels that one of them actually 
sprang to seize him : but it was too late ; 
nothing was on her side of the stream but 
the horse's tail, which immediately gave way 
at her infernal grip, as if blasted by a stroke 
of lightning ; but the farmer was beyond her 
reach. However, the unsightly tailless con- 
dition of the vigorous steed was, to the last 
hour of the noble creature's life, an awful 
warning to the Carrick farmers not to stay 
too late in Ayr markets. 

" ' The last relation I shall give, though 
equally true, is not so well identified as the 
two former with regard to the scene ; but as 
the best authorities give it for Alloway, I 
shall relate it. On a summer's evening, 
about the time nature puts on her sables 
to mourn the expiry of the cheerful day, a 
shepherd boy, belonging to a farmer in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Alloway Kirk, 
had just folded his charge and was return- 
ing home. As he passed the Kirk, in the 
adjoining field, he fell in with a crew of men 
and women who were busy pulling stems 



of the plant ragwort. He observed that as 
each person pulled a ragwort, he or she got 
astride of it and called out, " Up horsie!" 
on which the ragwort flew off, like Pegasus, 
through the air with its rider. The foolish 
boy likewise pulled his ragwort, and cried 
with the rest, " Up horsie ! " and, strange to 
tell, away he fiew with the company. The 
first stage at which the cavalcade stopt was 
a merchant's wine-cellar in Bordeaux, where, 
without saying by your leave, they quaffed 
away at the best the cellar could afford, un- 
til the morning, foe to the imps and works 
of darkness, threatened to throw light on 
the matter, and frightened them from their 
carousals. The poor shepherd lad, being 
equally a stranger to the scene and the 
liquor, heedlessly got himself drunk; and 
when the rest took horse he fell asleep, and 
was found so next day by some of the peo- 
ple belonging to the merchant. Somebody 
that understood Scotch, asking him what 
he was, he said such a one's herd in Allo- 
way ; and by some means or other getting 
home again, he lived long to tell the world 
the wondrous tale.' 

" The motto is the eighteenth verse of 
Gavin Douglas's sixth ' Prolong ' {Eneados), 
and should read thus : ' Of browneis and of 
bogillis full this buke.' 

" Probably Burns drew the suggestion of 
his hero, Tam o' Shanter, from the char- 
acter and adventures of Douglas Graham 
— born 6th January, 1739, died 23rd June, 
1811 — son of Robert Graham, farmer at 
Douglastown, tenant of the farm of Shan- 
ter on the Carrick Shore, and owner of a 
boat which he had named ' Tam o' Shanter.' 
Graham was noted for his convivial habits, 
which his wife's ratings tended rather to 
confirm than to eradicate. Tradition relates 
that once, when his long-tailed grey mare 
had waited even longer than usual for her 
master at the tavern door, certain humour- 
ists plucked her tail to such an extent as to 
leave it little better than a stump, and that 
Graham, on his attention being called to its 
state next morning, swore that it had been 
depilated by the witches at Alloway Kirk 
(MS. Notes by D. Auld of Ayr in Edinburgh 
University Library). The prototype — if 
prototype there were — of Souter Johnie is 



NOTES. 



381 



more doubtful; but a shoemaker named 
John Davidson —born 1728, died 30th June, 
806 — did live for some time at Glenfoot of 
Ardlochan, near the farm of Shanter, whence 
he removed to Kirkoswald. 

" In Alloway Kirk and its surroundings, 
apart from its uncanny associations, Burns 
cherished a special interest. 'When my 
father,' says Gilbert, ' feued his little prop- 
erty near Alloway Kirk the wall of the 
churchyard had gone to ruin, and cattle had 
free liberty of pasturing in it. My father 
and two or three other neighbours joined in 
an application to the Town Council of Ayr, 
who were superiors of the adjoining land, 
for liberty to rebuild it, and raised by sub- 
scription a sum for enclosing this ancient 
cemetery with a wall; hence he came to 
consider it as his burial-place, and we 
learned the reverence for it people gen- 
erally have for the burial-place of their 
ancestors.' When, therefore, Burns met 
Captain Grose — then on his peregrinations 
through Scotland — at the house of Cap- 
tain Riddell, he suggested a drawing of 
the ruin; and 'the captain,* Gilbert says, 
'agreed to the request, provided the poet 
would furnish a witch story to be printed 
along with it.' It is probable that Burns 
originally sent the stories told above for in- 
sertion in the work, and that the narrative 
in rhyme was an afterthought. Lockhart, 
on Cromek's authority, accepts a statement, 
said to have been made by Mrs. Burns, 
that the piece was the work of a single day, 
and on this very slender evidence divers 
critics have indulged in a vast amount of 
admiration. Burns's general dictum must, 
however, be borne in mind: 'AH my 
poetry is the effect of easy composition, but 
of laborious correction ; ' together with his 
special verdict on ' Tam o' Shanter ' (letter 
to Mrs. Dunlop, April, 1791) that it 'showed 
a finishing polish,' which he despaired of 
' ever excelling.' It appeared in Grose's 
'Antiquities' — published in April, 1791 — the 
captain's indebtedness being thus acknowl- 
edged : ' to my ingenious friend, Mr. Robert 
Burns, I have been seriously obligated : he 
was not only at the pains of making out 
what was most worthy of notice in Ayrshire, 
the county honoured by his birth, but he 



also wrote, expressly for this work, the 
pretty tale annexed to Alloway Church.' " 
— Centenary Edition, 

" Lovers of rustic festivity may agree with 
Professor Craik in holding that the poet's 
greatest performance is his narrative of 
' Halloween,' which for easy vigor, fulness 
of rollicking life, blended truth and fancy, is 
unsurpassed in its kind. Campbell, Wilson, 
Hazlitt, Montgomery, Burns himself, and 
the majority of his critics, have recorded 
their preference for 'Tarn o' Shanter,' where 
the weird superstitious element that has 
played so great a part in the imaginative 
work of this part of our island is brought 
more prominently forward. Few passages 
of description are finer than that of the 
roaring Doon and Alloway Kirk ghmmer- 
ing through the groaning trees; but the 
unique excellence of the piece consists in 
its variety, and a perfectly original com- 
bination of the terrible and the ludicrous. 
Like Goethe's ' Walpurgis Nacht,' brought 
into closer contact with real life, it stretches 
from the drunken humours of Christopher 
Sly to a world of fantasies almost as brill- 
iant as those of the 'Midsummer Night's 
Dream,* half solemnized by the severer at- 
mosphere of a sterner clime. The contrast 
between the lines ' Kings may be blest,' etc., 
and those which follow, beginning ' But 
pleasures are like poppies spread,' is typical 
of the perpetual antithesis of the author's 
thought and Hfe, in which, at the back of 
every revelry, he sees the shadow of a 
warning hand, and reads on the wall the 
writing. Omnia mutantur" — ^JOHN NiCHOL, 
LL.D. 

THE WHISTLE. 

" This poem is thus prefaced by Burns : 
'As the authentic Prose history of the 
Whistle is curious, I shall here give it. In 
the train of Anne of Denmark, when she 
came to Scotland with our James the Sixth, 
there came over also a Danish gentleman 
of gigantic stature and great prowess, and a 
matchless champion of Bacchus. He had 
a little ebony Whistle, which, at the com- 
mencement of the orgies, he laid on the 
table; and whoever was last able to blow 
it, everybody else being disabled by the 



382 



NOTES. 



potency of the bottle, was to carry off the 
Whistle, as a trophy of victory. — The Dane 
produced credentials of his victories, with- 
out a single defeat, at the courts of Copen- 
hagen, Stockholm, Moscow, Warsaw, and 
several of the petty courts in Germany ; and 
challenged the Scots Bacchanalians to the 
alternative of trying his prowess, or else of 
acknowledging their inferiority. After many 
overthrows on the part of the Scots, the 
Dane was encountered by Sir Robert Low- 
rie of Maxwelton, ancestor to the present 
worthy baronet of that name; who, after 
three days and three nights hard contest, 
left the Scandinavian under the table, " And 
blew on the Whistle his requiem shrill." 

'"Sir Walter, son to Sir Robert before 
mentioned, afterwards lost the Whistle to 
Walter Riddell of Glenriddell, who had 
married a sister of Sir Walter's. On Fri- 
day, the i6th October, 1790, at Friars-Carse, 
the Whistle was once more contended for 
as related in the Ballad, by the present Sir 
Robert Lowrie of Maxwelton ; Robert Rid- 
dell, Esq. of Glenriddell, lineal descendant 
and representative of Walter Riddell, who 
won the Whistle, and in whose family it 
had continued; and Alexander Ferguson, 
Esq. of Craigdarroch, likewise descended 
of the great Sir Robert, which last gentle- 
man carried off the hard-won honours of 
the field." 

•• In this Prefatory Note Burns misdates 
the contest by a year, as is proved by (i) 
the date of a letter — i6th October, 1789 — 
to Captain Riddell, in which he refers to the 
contest of the evening; and (2) by the 
memorandum of the ' Bett,' now in the pos- 
session of Sir Robert Jardine of Castlemilk, 
first published in ' Notes and Queries,' Sec- 
ond Series, vol. x. (i860), p. 423 : — 

" * DOQUET 

" ' The original Bett between Sir Robert 
Laurie and Craigdarroch, for the noted 
Whistle, which is so much celebrated by 
Robert Burns' Poems — in which Bett I 
was named Judge — 1789. 

" ' The Bett decided at Carse — i6th Oc- 
tober, 1789. 

" 'Won by Craigdarroch — he drank upds. 
of 5 Bottles of Clareto 



'"MEMORANDUM FOR THE WHISTLE 

"'The Whistle gained by Sir Robert 
Laurie (now) in possession of Mr. Riddell 
of Glenriddell, is to be ascertained to the 
heirs of the said Sir Robert now existing, 
being Sir R. L., Mr. R. of G., and Mr. F. of 
C. — to be settled under the arbitration of 
Mr. Jn. M'Murdo: the business to be de- 
cided at Carse, the i6th of October, 1789. 
" ' (Signed) Alex. Ferguson. 

R. Laurie. 

RoBT. Riddell. 
" ' Cowhill, loth October, 1789. 

" ' John M'Murdo accepts as Judge. 

*' ' Geo. Johnston witness, to be present. 

" ' Patrick Miller witness, to be pre. if 
possible. 

" ' Minute of Bett between Sir Robert 
Laurie and Craigdarroch, 1789.' 

" The question, whether or not Burns was 
present, has been hotly debated. The ref- 
erences in his letter on the day of the fight, 
as well as the terms of the ' Bett,' seem to 
show that, tradition notwithstanding, he was 
not. But there are no data for an absolute 
conclusion." — Centenary Edition. 

THE JOLLY BEGGARS. 

"This immortal poem was partly given 
in manuscript by Burns, ' as rich men give 
who care not for their gifts,' to one Rich- 
mond, in whose company, in 1785, he had 
watched a festival of vagrom men. In 
1793, Burns had forgotten the Cantata, and 
kept no copy. Shakespeare was not more 
regardless of his works. The rest of the 
manuscript was presented by Burns to a 
Mr. David Woodburn, without Richmond's 
part, which has been added — it runs from 
'Poor Merry-Andrew' to 'he's far dafter 
than I.' The whole MS. has wandered to 
the Azores, to Nova Scotia, and home 
again (Scott Douglas). Part of Tennyson's 
' Vision of Sin ' is clearly inspired by this 
Cantata. It is characteristic of Burns that 
he neither published nor took any pains to 
secure the future of this extraordinary piece, 
first printed in 1799, by Stewart and Meikle, 
without Richmond's portion, added in 1801 
by Thomas Stewart." — ANDREW LANG. 



NOTES. 



383 



" The form of the piece is a mere can- 
tata, the theme tiie half-drunken snatches 
of a joyous band of vagabonds, while the 
grey leaves are floating on the gusts of the 
wind in the autumn of the year. But the 
whole is compacted, refined, and poured 
forth in one flood of liquid harmony. It 
is light, airy, and soft of movement, yet 
sharp and precise in its details ; every face 
is a portrait, and the whole a group in clear 
photography. The blanket of the night is 
drawn aside; in full ruddy gleaming light 
these rough tatterdemalions are seen at 
their boisterous revel wringing from Fate 
another hour of wassail and good cheer." 
— Thomas Carlyle. 

" Over the whole is flung a half-humor- 
ous, half-savage satire — aimed, like a two- 
edged sword, at the laws and the law- 
breakers, in the acme of which the grace- 
less crew are raised above the level of 
ordinary gipsies, footpads, and rogues, and 
are made to sit ' on the hills like gods to- 
gether, careless of mankind,' and to launch 
their Titan thunders of rebellion against 
the world." — JOHN NiCHOL, LL.D. 

SYLVANDER TO CLARIXDA. 

"Clarinda was Mrs. Agnes Maclehose, 
nee Craig, daughter of Andrew Craig, sur- 
geon, Glasgow. She was bom in April, 
1759 — the same year as her Poet ; and when 
he met her in Edinburgh (7th December, 
1787) she had for some time been sepa- 
rated from her husband. The Bard, who 
was (as ever) by way of being a buck, 
accepted an invitation to take tea with her 
on the 9th ; but an accident obliging him to 
keep his room, he wrote to express his 
regret, and at the same time intimated his 
resolve to cherish her ' friendship with the 
enthusiasm of religion.' Mrs. Maclehose 
responding in the same key, the ' friendship ' 
proceeded ^ipace. On Christmas Eve she 
sent him certain verses, signed 'Clarinda,' 
' On Burns saying He had nothing else to 
Do,' three of which he quoted in the * Glen- 
riddell Book ' : — 

" * When first you saw Clarinda's charms, 
What rapture in your bosom grew! 
Her heart was shut to Love's alarms, 
But then — you 'd nothing else to do. 



* Apollo oft had lent his harp. 

But now 't was strung from Cupid's bow; 
You sung — it reached Clarinda's heart — 
She wish'd you 'd nothing else to do. 

' Fair Venus smil'd, Minerva frown'd, 
Cupid observed, the arrow flew: 
Indifference (ere a week went round) 
Show'd you had nothing else to do.' 

Thus challenged, Sylvander — (he became 
Sylvander there and then) — replied as in 
the text ; and the romantic terms in which 
the two went on to conduct their corre- 
spondence soon served the ardent youth as 
a pretext for the expression of fiercer senti- 
ments than Clarinda's ' principles of reason 
and religion ' should have allowed. She 
sent her Arcadian poems, which he amended 
for Johnson's Museum; and he fell so deeply 
enamoured that, on leaving Edinburgh (24th 
March) he must write thus to a friend: — 
' During these last eight days I have been 
positively crazy.' Clarinda (like Maman 
Vauquer) avait des idees — as what lady in 
the circumstances would not ? And when 
Clarinda learned, in August, that Burns had 
married Armour, Clarinda resented her 
Sylvander's defection as an unpardonable 
wrong. They were partly reconciled in the 
autumn of 1791 ; and ere she rejoined her 
husband in Jamaica, they had an interview 
on 6th December, which the gallant and 
romantic little song, ' O May, Thy Morn 
Was Ne'er sae Sweet,' is held to com- 
memorate. On the 27th he sent her 'Ae 
Fond Kiss and Then We Sever,' with the 
finest lines he ever wrote : — 

*' * Had we never loved sae kindly, 
Had we never loved sae blindly, 
Never met or never parted, 
We had ne'er been broken-hearted ' : — 

' Behold the Hour, the Boat Arrive,' and 
part of ' Gloomy December,' with the re- 
mark : — ' The remainder of this song is on 
the wheels — Adieu ! Adieu ! ' Mrs. Macle- 
hose, still unreconciled to her husband, re- 
turned to Scotland in August, 1792. Burns 
and she -corresponded occasionally, but 
never met again. She died 22nd October, 
1841. His letters to her were pirated in 
Stewart's Edition (1802). The greater part 
of the Correspondence appeared in 1843." — 
Centenary Edition, 



GLOSSARY. 



A\ all. 

A-back, (i) behind; (2) away. 

Abiegh, aloof, off: ' stand abiegh.* 

Ablins, V. Aiblins. 

Aboon, (i) above [the usual sense] ; also 
(2) up: 'a lift aboon,' 'temper-pins 
aboon,' ' heart aboon,' ' his heart will 
never get aboon ' = his heart will never 
again rejoice. 

Abread, abroad : ' beauties a' abread.' 

Abreed, in breadth (R. B.) : ' spread abreed 
thy weel-fill'd brisket.' 

Ado, to-do : * mickle ado.' 

Adle, cow-lant, putrid water: 'deal brim- 
stone like adle.' 

Ae, one. 

Af, off. 

Aff-hand, at once : ' a carpet weaver aff- 
hand,' ' marriage aff-hand.' 

Aff-loof\ off-hand, extempore : * Just clean 
aff-loof.' 

A-Jiel, a-field. 

Afore, before. 

Aft, oft. 

Aften, often. 

Aglcy, askew: 'gang aft agley.' 

Ahin, behind : ' lan'-ahin,' ' fur-ahin.* 

Aibluts, may be, perhaps. 

Aik, oak. 

Aiken, oaken. 

Ain, own. 

Air, early. 

Airle, hansel, earnest money : ' airle-pennies 
three,' * an airle-penny.' 

Airles, hansel : ' the airles an the fee.' 

Aii-71, iron. 

Airt, direction. 

Airt, to direct : ' airt me to my treasure,' 
' airted till her a guid chiel.' 

Aith, oath. 

2C 385 



Aits, oats. 

Aiver, an old horse (R. B.) : 'a noble 

aiver.' 
Aizle, a cinder : ' an aizle brunt.' 
Afee, (i) ajar : ' the back-yett be a-jee ' ; 

(2) to one side: 'his bonnet he a 

thought a-jee.' 
A lake, alas. 
Alane, alone. 
Ala7ig, along. 
Amaist, almost. 
Amang, among. 
An, if. 
An\ and. 
Ance, once. 
Ane, one. 
Aneath, beneath. 
A?ies, ones. 
Anither, another. 
Aqua-fontis, spring-water : ' aqua-fontis, 

what you please.' 
Aqua-vitae, whisky. 
Arle, V. Airle. 
Ase, ashes. 
Asklent,{i) askew [not according to Hoyle]: 

'cam to the warl' asklent ' ; (2) askance: 

' look'd asklent.' 
Aspar, aspread : ' the lasses lie aspar.' 
Asteer, astir. 
A' thegither, altogether. 
Athort, athwart. 

Atweel, in truth : ' eh ! atweel na.' 
Atween, between. 
Aught, eight, 
^//^/z^, possession: ' whase aught,' = who 

owns. 
Aughtefi, eighteen. 
Aughtlins, at all, in any way : ' Aughtlins 

fawsont*; v. Oughtlins. 
Auld, old. 



386 



GLOSSARY. 



Aiildfarran, auld/arrattt, (i) shrewd: *a 
chap that's damn'd auldfarran ' ; (2) old- 
fashioned in the sense of sagacious : 
' your auld-farrant frien'ly letter.' 

Auld Reekie, Edinburgh. 

Auld-warld^ old-world. 

Aunious, alms: 'just like an aumous dish.' 

Ava^ at all. 

Awa, away. 

Awald, backways and bent together: 'fell 
aw^ald beside it.' 

Awauk, awake. 

Awauken, awaken. 

Awe, owe : * devil a shilling I awe, man. 

Awkart, awkward. 

Awnie, bearded : ' aits set up their awnie 
horn.' 

Ayont, beyond. 

Ba\ a ball. 

Baby-clouts, babie-clouts, baby clothes : ' like 
baby-clouts a-dryin,' ' O wha my babie- 
clouts will buy.' 

Racket, bucket or box : ' auld saut-backets.* 

Backit, backed : ' howe-backit now, an' 
knaggie.' 

BackIi?is-cojiii?i, coming back, returning 
(R. B.). 

Back-yett, g2i\Q at the back: ' the back-yett 
be a-jee.' 

Bade, endured : ' bade an unco bang.' 

Bade, asked : ' and bade nae better.' 

Baggie, the belly, the stomach : ' a ripp to 
thy auld baggie.' 

Baignets, bayonets. 

Bailie, magistrate of a Scots burgh. 

Bainie, bony, big-boned: the 'brawnie, 
bainie, ploughman chiel.' 

Bair7i, child. 

Bairntime, brood, issue : ' thae bonie bairn- 
time,' ' my pleugh is now thy bairntime a'.' 

Baith, both. 

Bakes ^ biscuits : ' bakes and gills.' 

Ballots, ballads. 

Balou, lullaby : ' The Highland Balou.' 

Bamboozle, to trick by mystifying : ' wicked 
men bamboozle him.' 

Bail, swear [special Scottish meaning in 
addition to curse] : ' the devil-haet that I 
sud ban.' 

Ban , band \i.e. of the Presbyterian clergy- 
man] : ' gown an' ban' ' = the clergyman. 



Bane, bone. 

Bang, an effort (R. B.), a blow, a large 
number. Unco bang, great or prolonged 
effort : ' he bade an unco bang.' 

Ba7ig, to thump : ' bang your hide,' ' she 
bang'd me,' ' bang'd the despot.' 

Ba7iie, v. Bainie. 

Bannet, bonnet. 

Bannock, bonnock, a soft cake : " twa mash- 
lum bonnocks,' ' Saxpence an' a ban- 
nock,' ' Bannocks o' Bear Meal, Ban- 
nocks o' Barley,' ' hauvermeal bannock.' 

Bardie, dim. of bard. 

Barefit, barefooted. 

Barket, barked. 

Barley-brie or -bree, barley-brew = ale or 
whisky: 'barley-brie cement the quarrel,' 
• taste the barley-bree.' 

Barm, yeast : ' that clarty barm should 
stain my laurels.' 

Barmie, yeasty. 

Barn-yard, stackyard. 

Bartie, the Devil : ' as fou as Bartie.* 

Bashing, abashing : ' bash ing and dashing.* 

Batch, a number, a company: 'batch o* 
wabster lads.' 

Batts, the botts [applied to horses], the 
colic: 'a country laird had taen the 
batts.' 

Bauckie-bird, the bat: 'wavering like the 
bauckie-bird.' 

Baudrons, Baudrans, the cat: 'a winkin 
baudrons,' ' like baudrons by a rattan,' 
' auld baudrans by the ingle sits.' 

Bank, cross-beam : 'grapit for the bauks.' 

Bank, V. Bawk. 

B auk-en , beam-end : ' or whether 't was a 
bauk-en'.' 

Bauld, bold. 

Bauldest, boldest. 

Bauldly, boldly. 

Bau7?iy, balmy. 

Bawbee, a halfpenny [probably a babie 
penny]. 

Bawdrons, v. Baudrons. 

Bawk, a field-path : ' a corn-inclosed bawk.' 

Baws'7it, white-streaked : ' sonsie, baws'nt 
face.' 

Bawtie, pet name for a dog : ' my auld teeth- 
less Bawtie,' 

Be, alone [i.e. as one is already] : ' an' let 
poor damned bodies be,' ' let a body be.' 



GLOSSARY. 



387 



Bear, barley. 

Bea5\ beasts, vermin \i.e. lice] : ' grey wi' 
beas'.' 

Beasfie, dim. oi beast. 

Beck, a curtsy : ' she '11 gie ye a beck.' 

Beet, feed, kindle, fan, add fuel to : ' beet 
his hymeneal flame,' ' it heats me, it beets 
me,' 'or noble Elgin beets,' 'it 's plenty 
beets the lover's fire.' Cf. Chaucer, ' Two 
fires on the autor [altar] gan she beete,' 
Knighfs Tale, Canterbury Tales, '2.2f^2., 

Be/a, befall. 

Behifi, behhit, behind. 

Beild, V. Biel. 

Belarig, belong. 

Beld, bald. 

Belluvt, assault : ' brawlie ward their bel- 
lum.' 

Bellys, bellows. 

Belyve, by and by : ' belyve the elder bairns,' 
' weel-swall'd kytes belyve are bent.' 

Ben, a parlour. 

Ben, into the spence or parlour (R. B.). 

Benmost, inmost : ' benmost bore,' * benmost 
neuk.' 

Be-nort/i, to the northward of. 

Be-south, to the southward of. 

Bethankif, the grace after meat (R. B.). 

Beuk, a book : ' devil's pictur'd beuks ' = 
playing-cards. 

Beyont, beyond. 

Bicker, a wooden cup : ' in cog or bicker.* 

Bicker, a cupful, a glass : ' a hearty bicker.' 

Bicker, a short run : ' I took a bicker.' 

Bicker, to flow swiftly and with a slight 
noise: 'bicker'd to the seas,' 'bickerin 
dancin dazzle.' Cf. also ' smoke and 
bickering flame,' Milton's Paradise Lost, 
vi. 766. 

Bickerin, noisy and keen contention : ' there 
will be bickerin there.' 

Bickering, hurrying : ' bickering brattle.' 

Bid, to ask, to wish, to offer: 'bid nae bet- 
ter,' ' ne'er bid better.* See also Bade,- 

Bide, abide. See also Bade. 

Biel, bield, a shelter : ' hap him in a cozie 
biel,' ' the random bield o' clod or stane,' 
•but buss and bield,' ' thy bield should be 
my bosom.' 

Biel, bield, a sheltered spot : ' the sun blinks 
kindly in the biel,' 'roses blaw in ilka 
bield.' 



Bien, prosperous, comfortable : ' bien and 

snug,' ' her house sae bien.' 
Biett, bienly, comfortably : ' that deeds me 

bien,' ' bienly clad.' 
Big, to build. 
Biggin, building. 
Biggin, a structure, a dwelling : ' the auld 

clay biggin,' ' houlet-haunted biggin.' 
Bike, V. Byke. 

Bill, the bull : ' as yell's the bill.' 
Billie, fellow, comrade, brother [several 

examples of each of these meanings]. 
Billy, William. 

Bings, heaps : ' potatoe-bings.' 
Birdie, dim. of bird, also maidens: 'bonie 

birdies.' See also Burdie, 
Birk, the birch. 
Birken, birchen. 

Birkie, a fellow [usually implies conceit]. 
Birr, force, vigour: 'wi' a' my birr.' 
Birring, whirring: ' birring paitricks.' 
Birses, bristles : ' tirl the bullions to the 

birses.' 
Birth, berth : ' a birth afore the mast.' 
Bit, small [e.g. a bit beauty, bit brugh, bit 

lassie, etc.]. 
Bit, nick of time : 'just at the bit.* 
Bitch-fou, completely drunk. 
Bizz, a flurry : ' that day when in a bizz.' 
Bizz, to buzz. 
Bizzard, the buzzard. 
Bizzie, busy. 
Black-bonnet, the elder : ' a greedy glowr 

black-bonnet throws,' ' an' douse black- 
bonnet.' 
Black-nebbit, black-beaked : ' black-nebbit 

Johnie.' 
Blae, blue, livid. 
Blastet, blastit, blasted [used in contempt 

and = damn'd] : ' wee, blastit wonner,' 

'creepin, blastit wonner,' ' onie blastit, 

moorland toop.' 
Blastie, a blasted [/.<?. damn'd] creature : 

'the blastie's makin,' ' red-wud Kilbirnie 

blastie.' 
Blate, (i) modest : ' owre blate to seek ' ; (2) 

bashful, shy : ' nor blate nor scaur,' ' some 

unco blate,' ' but blate and laithfu',' ' young 

and blate,' ' steer her up, an' be na blate.' 
Blather, bladder. 
Bland, a large quantity, a screed : ' a hearty 

blaud,' ' a blaud o' Johnie's morals.' 



388 



GLOSSARY. 



Blaud, to slap : * he 's the boy will blaud her.' 
Blaudin, driviiig.pelting : ' the bitter, blaudin 

show'r/ 
Blaw, to blow. 
Blaw, to brag, to boast : * blaw about my- 

sel,' * he brags and he blaws o' his siller.' 
Blawing, blowing. 
Blaivn, blown. 
Bleer, to blear. 
Bleer't, bleared. 
Bleez'd, blazed. 
Bleeze, a blaze. 
Bleezin, blazing. 
Blellu7?i, (i) a babbler: • drunken blellum *; 

(2) a railer : * sour-mou'd, girnin blellum ' ; 

(3) a blusterer: 'to cowe tne biellums.' 
Blether, blethers, nonsense. 

Blether, to talk nonsense. 

Bletherin\ talking nonsense. 

Blin\ blind. 

Blin\ to blind. 

Bli?ik, a glance, a moment, a short period 
[several examples of each of these mean- 
ings]. 

Blink, to glance, to shine. 

Blinkers, (i) spies: 'seize the blinkers'; 
(2) oglers : ' delicious blinkers.' 

Blifikin, blinking, shining. 

Blinkin, (i) smirking: ' Blinkin Bess of 
Annandale'; (2) leering: ' are blinkin at 
the entry.' 

Blin't, blinded : ' blin't his e'e.' 

Blitter, the snipe : ' blitter frae the boggie.' 

Blue-gown, the livery of the licensed beg- 
gar : ' the Blue-gown badge.' 

Bluid, blood. 

Bluidy, bloody. 

Blume, to bloom. 

Bluntie, a stupid [i.e. one who is n't sharp] : 
'gar me look like bluntie.' 

Blypes, shreds : ' till skin in blypes cam 
haurlin.' 

Bobbed, curtsied : ' When She Cam Ben 
She Bobbed.' 

Booked, vomited : ' or thro' the mining out- 
let bocked.' 

Boddle, a farthing [properly two pennies 
Scots, or one-third of an English penny] : 
' he car'd na deils a boddle,' ' I '11 wad a 
boddle.' 

Bodkin, tailor's needle : ' your bodkin 's 
bauld.' 



Body, bodie, a person, a creature. 

Boggie, dim. of bog : ' the blitter frae the 

boggie.' 
Bogle, a bogie, a hobgoblin : * lest bogles 

catch him unawares,' ' nae nightly bogle 

make it eerie,' ' Ghaist nor bogle,' ' the 

silly bogles. Wealth and State.' 
Bole, a hole, or small recess in the w.ill: 

* there sat a bottle in a bole.' 
Bonie, bonnie, pretty, beautiful. 
Bonilie, prettily. 
Bo7inock, V. Bannock. 
'Boon, above. 
Boord, board, surface: *the jingling icy 

boord.' 
Boord-en\ board end : * sitting at yon boord- 

en'.' 
Boortrees, ' the shrub-elder, planted much 

of old in hedges of barnyards,' etc. (R. 

B.) : ' thro' the boortrees comin.' 
Boost, h€^oovQ, must needs : * I shortly boost 

to pasture,' ' like a blockhead, boost to 

ride.' 
^(7^/, payment to the bargain : ' the boot and 

better horse,' ' the saul of boot,' ' O' boot 

that night.' 
Bore, a chink, a small hole, an opening: 

' thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing,* 

' the benmost bore,' ' to guard, or draw, or 

wick a bore.' 
Botch, an angry tumor (R. B.) : 'scabs and 

botches.' 
Bouk, a human trunk [Eng. bulk : cf. ' to 

shatter all his bulk,' Shak. Hamlet, ii. i. 

95] : ' and monie a bouk did fa'.' 
'Bout, about. 
Bow-hougJid, bandy-thighed : ' she 's bough- 

hough'd, she's hem-shin'd.' 
Bow-kail, cabbage : ' wandered thro' the 

bow-kail,' 'his bow-kail runt.' 
Bow't, bent : * like a sow-tail sae bow't. 
Brackens, ferns : * amang the brachens.' 

See also Breckan. 
Brae, a small hill, the slope of a hill. 
Braid, broad. 
Braid-claith, broadcloth. 
Braik, a harrow : ' in pleugh or braik.' 
Braing't, pulled rashly : ' thou never braing't, 

an' fetch't, an' fiiskit.' 
Brak, broke. 
Brake, broke. 
Brak 's, broke his. 



GLOSSARY. 



389 



Branks, a wooden curb, a bridle : ' As cheeks 

o' branks,' ' goavin 's he 'd been led wi' 

branks,' ' wi' braw new branks,' ' if the 

beast and branks be spar'd.' 
Branky, spruce : ' whaur hae ye been sae 

brankie, O. 
Bran'y, brandy. 
Brash, short illness : ' monie a pain an* 

brash.' 
Brats, small pieces, rags: 'brats o' claes,' 

' brats o' duddies.' 
Brats, small children : ' our ragged brats 

and callets,' 'wives and dirty brats.' 
Brattle, a spurt, a scamper : * waur't thee 

for a brattle,* ' wi' bickering brattle.* 
Brattle, noisy onset : ' brattle o' winter war.' 
Braw, handsome, fine, gaily dressed [many 

examples of each of these meanings]. 
Brawlie, finely, perfectly, heartily. 
Braxles, sheep that have died of braxie 

[a disease] : ' guid fat braxies.' 
Br e as tie, dim. of breast. 
Breastit, sprang forward : * thou never lap, 

an' sten't, an' breastit.' 
Brechan, a horse collar: *a braw new 

brechan.' 
Breckan, ferns : ' yon lone glen o* green 

brechan.' See also Brache?ts. 
Breedln, breeding, i.e. manners : ' has nae 

sic breedin.' 
Breeks, breeches. 
Breer, briar. 

Brent, brand : ' brent new frae France.* 
Brent, straight, steep [i.e. not sloping from 

baldness] : ' your bonie brow was brent.' 
Brief, "^ni : * King David o' poetic brief.' 
Brier, briar. 
Briery, briary. 
Brig, bridge. 

Brisket, breast : * thy weel-fiU'd brisket.* 
Brither, brother. 
Brock, a. badger : * a stinking brock,* ' wil- 

cat, brock, an' tod.' 
Brogue, a trick : * an' play'd on man a cursed 

brogue.' 
Broo, soup, broth : * the flesh to him, the broo 

to me,' ' suppin' hen-broo,' ' dogslike broo.' 
Broo, brew, liquid, water : ' the snaw-broo 

rowes,' ' I 've borne aboon the broo.' 
Brooses, wedding races from the church to 

the home of the bride : ' at brooses thou 

had ne'er a fellow.* 



Brose, a thick mixture of meal and warm 

water, also a synonym for porridge : ' they 

maun hae brose,' 'then cogs o* brose,' ' ye 

butter'd my brose.' 
Browst, malt liquor [and properly the whole 

liquor brewed at one time] : ' the browst 

she brew'd.' 
Browster wives, ale wives : ' browster wives 

an' whisky-stills.' 
Br ugh, a burgh, a borough. 
Brulzie, brulyie, (i) a brawl: 'than mind 

sic brulzie'; (2) brangle: 'Hell mixed 

in the brulyie,' ' wha in a brulyie.' 
Brunstane, brimstone. 
Brunt, burned. 
Brust, burst. 
Buckie, dim. of buck, a smart younker : ' that 

daft buckie, Geordie Wales,' ' envious 

buckles.' 
Buckle, a curl : ' his hair has a natural 

buckle.' 
Buckskin, Virginian : ' the buckskins claw,' 

' the buckskin kye.' 
Budget, tinker's bag of tools : ' the budget 

and the apron,' ' here 's to budgets.' 
Buf, to bang, to thump : ' buff our beef.' 
Bughtin, folding [i.e. gathering sheep into 

the fold] : ' tells bughtin time is near, my 

jo.' 
Buirdly, (i) stout, stalwart : 'buirdly chiels' ; 

(2) stately : ' a filly buirdly.' 
Burn, the buttocks : ' many a tatter'd rag 

hanging over my bum.' 
Bum^ to hum : ' ayont the dyke she 's heard 

you bummin,' 'bum owre their treasure.' 
Bum-clock^ the beetle : ' the bum-clock 

humm'd wi' lazy drone.' 
Bummle, a drone, a useless fellow : * some 

drowzy bummle.' 
Bunker, a seat': ' a wunnock-bunker in the 

east.' 
Bunters, harlots : ' and kissing barefit bun- 

ters.' 
Bur dies, dim. of bird or burd [a lady], 

maidens : ' ae blink o' the bonie burdies. 

See also Birdie. Cf. Burd Ellen. 
Bure, bore. 
Burn, a rivulet. 
Burnewin, the blacksmith \i.e. burn the 

wind]: 'then Burnewin comes onhke 

death.' 
Burnie, dim. oi burn [a rivulet]. 



390 



GLOSSARY. 



Burr-thistle , spear-thistle : ' the rough burr- 
thistle spreading wide.' 

Busk, (i) to dress, to garb : ' New Brig w^as 
buskit in a bravv new coat,' ' they '11 busk 
her like a fright,' 'busking bowers'; (2) 
to dress up : ' busks his skinklin patches ' ; 
(3) to trim, to adorn : * her bonie buskit 
nest,' * weel buskit up sae gaudy.' 

Busking, V. Busk. 

Buskit, V. Busk. 

Buss, a bush : ' like a rash-buss stood in 
sight,' ' but buss or bield.' 

Bussle, bustle. 

But, without. 

^hit, butt, in the kitchen [?.^. the outer apart- 
ment], ' butt the house ' = in the kitchen. 
-See also Ben. 

By, past, aside. 

By, beside. 

By hirnsel, beside himself, off his wits : 
' monie a day was by himsel.' 

Bye attour [i.e. ' by and attour ' = beside 
and at a distance], moreover : ' bye attour 
my gutcher has.' 

Byke, (i) a bees' nest, a hive : ' assail their 
byke ' ; (2) a swarm, a crowd : ' the glow- 
rin byke,' ' the hungry bike.' 

Byre, a cowhouse. 

Ca\ a call. 

Ca\ to call. 

Ca', a knock. 

Ca', to knock [e.g. a nail], to drive [e.g. 

cattle]. 
Cad, cat, called. 
Ca'd, ca't, knocked, driven. 
Cadger, a hawker : ' a cadger pownie's 

death,' ' like onie cadger's whup." 
Cadie, caddie, a yarlet : ' e'en cowe the 

cadie,' ' Auld-Light caddies.' 
Caff, chaff. 
Caird, a tinker. 
Calf-ward, grazing plot for calves [i.e. 

churchyard]. 
Callan, callant, a stripling. 
Caller, cool, refreshing: 'the caller air,' 

' little fishes' caller rest.' 
Callet, 2l trull : ' my bottle and my callet,* 

' our ragged brats and callets.' 
Cam, came. 
Canie, cannie, (i) gentle: 'bonie wee 

thing, cannie wee thing,' ' cannie young 



man ' ; (2) tractable : ' tawie, quiet, an' 
cannie ' , (3) quiet : ' a cannie errand,' ' a 
cannie hour at e'en,' ' then cannie,' ' kind 
and cannie'; (4) prudent: 'wi' cannie 
care ' ; (5) careful : ' cannie for hoarding 
o' money.' 

Cankrie, crabbed : * O* cankrie Care.' 

Canna, cannot. 

Cannie, (i) gently: 'straik her cannie'; (2) 
quietly : ' slade cannie to her bed ' ; (3) 
sensibly: 'and cannie wale'; (4) care- 
fully : ' I maun guide it cannie ' ; (5) ex- 
pertly: ' nickin down fu' cannie.' 

Catiniest, quietest : ' the canniest gate, the 
strife is sair.' 

Cannilie, ca?tnily, quietly, prudently, cau- 
tiously: ' cannilie he hums them,' ' can- 
nily keekit ben,' ' cannily steal on a bonie 
moor-hen.' 

Cantie, cheerful, lively, jolly, merry [very 
many examples]. 

Cantraip, (i) magic : ' by cantraip wit,' ' can- 
traip sleight'; (2) witching: 'some can- 
traip hour.' 

Cants, (i) merry stories : ' monie cracks 
and cants'; (2) canters or sprees or 
merry doings : ' a' my cants.' 

Cape-stane, cope-stone. 

Capon, castrate : ' their capon cries.' 

Card na by, cared not a jot. 

Care na by, (i) do not care, (2) care noth- 
ing, (3) care not although you do. 

Carl, carle [from churl], a man, an old man. 

Carl-hemp, male-hemp : ' thou stalk o' carl- 
hemp.' 

Carlie, a mannikin: ' a fusionless carlie.' 

Car I in, car line, a middle-aged, or old 
woman, a beldam, a witch. 

Carmagnole, a violent Jacobin : ' that curst 
carmagnole Auld Satan.* 

Cartes, playing cards. 

Cartie, dim. of cart : ' or hurl in a cartie.* 

Cat, v. Ca*d. 

Catch-the-plack, the hunt for coin. 

Caudron, a caldron : ' fry them in his cau- 
drons.' V. Cauldron. 

Cauf, a calf. 

Cauf-leather, calf-leather. 

Cauk, chalk : ' o' caulk and keel' = in chalk 
and ruddle. 

Cauld, cold. 

Cauld, the cold. 



GLOSSARY. 



391 



Cauldness, coldness. 

Cauldron, caldron : ' clout the cauldron.' 
V. Caudroti. 

Caup, a wooden drinking-vessel \_i.e. cup] : 
'the lugget caup,' 'yill-caup commenta- 
tors,' ' in cogs an' caups,' ' that kiss'd his 
caup.' 

Causey-cleaners, causeway-cleaners. 

Cavie, a hen-coop : ' behint the chicken- 
cavie.' 

Chamer, chaumer, chamber. 

Change-house, tavern. 

Chanter, (i) bagpipes, the pipe of the bag- 
pipes which produces the melody : ' your 
chanters tune,' ' chanters winna hain ' ; 
(2) syn. for song : ' quat my chanter.' 

Chap, a fellow, a young fellow. 

Chap, to strike : ' ay chap the thicker.' 

Chap7nan, a pedler. 

Chaujner, v. Chamer, 

Chaup (or chap) , a stroke, a blow : ' at ev'ry 
chaup.' 

Chear, cheer, to cheer. 

Chearfu, cheerful. 

Chear less, cheerless. 

Chear}', cheery. 

Cheek-for-chow , cheek by jowl [i.e. close 
beside] : ' cheek-for-chow a chuffie vint- 
ner,' ' cheek-for-chow, shall jog thegither.' 

Cheep, peep, squeak : ' wi' tunefu' cheep,' 
' cheeps like some bewildered chicken.' 

Chiel, chield [i.e. child], a fellow, a young 
fellow [indicates approval]. 

Chlmla, chimney. 

Chow, v. Cheek-for-chow. 

Chows, chews. 

Chuck, a hen, a dear: 'the martial chuck.' 
Cf. ' pray chuck come hither,' Shak. 
Othello, iv. 2. 24. 

Chuckle, dim. of chuck, but usually signifies 
mother-hen, an old dear : ' auld chuckle 
Reekie,' ' a daintie[y] chuckle.' 

Chuffie, fat-faced : ' a chuffie vintner.' 

Chuse, to choose. 

at, the civet : ' the cit and polecat stink.' 

at, a citizen, a merchant. 

Clachan, a small village about *a church, a 
hamlet (R. B.) : 'the clachan yill,' 'Jock 
Hornbook i' the clachan,' ' within the 
clachan.' 

Claedlng, clothing. 

Claes, claise, clothes. 



Claith, cloth. 

Claithing, clothing. 

Claivers, v. CI avers. 

Clankie, a severe knock : ' Clavers got a 

clankie, O.' 
Clap, the clapper of a mill : ' and still the 

clap plays clatter.' 
Clark, clerkly, scholarly : ' learned and 

Clark.' 
Clark, a clerk : ' like onie dark.' 
Clarkii, clerked, wrote : ' in a bank and 

clarkit.' 
Clarfy, dixty: ' clarty barm.' 
Clash, an idle tale, the story of a day (R. 

B.) : ' the countra clash.' 
Clash, to tattle. 
Clatter, (i) noise : ' the clap players clatter' 

[i.e. clapper], ' bade me mak nae clatter ' ; 

(2) tattle, gossip : ' kintra clatter ' ; (3) 

talk : ' sangs and clatter,' ' anither gies 

them clatter ' ; (4) disputation : ' a' this 

clatter ' ; (5) babble : ' rhymin clatter.' 
Clatter, (i) to make a noise by striking: 

' the pint-stowp clatters,' ' gar him clatter', 

'clatter on my stumps'; (2) to babble: 

' the gossips clatter bright ' ; (3) to prattle : 

' clatters, " Tarn Samson's dead." ' 
Claught, clutched, seized : ' claught her by 

the rump,' ' claught th' unfading garland.' 
Claughtln, clutching, grasping : ' claughtin 

't together.' 
Claut, (i) a clutch : * our sinfu' saul to get 

a claut on ' ; (2) a handful : ' a claut o' 

gear.' 
Claut, to scrape : ' ye claut my byre.' 
Clautet, scraped: 'the laggen they hae 

clautet.' 
Claver, clover. 
Clavers, (i) gossip: 'clavers and havers 

(2) nonsense : ' heaps o' clavers.' 
Claw, a scratch, a blow. 
Claw, to scratch, to strike. 
Clay-cauld, clay-cold. 
Clayfnore, a two-handed Highland sword : 

'an' guid claymore,' ' wi' dirk, claymore.' 
Cleckin, a brood : ' its minnie and the 

cleckin.' 
deed, to clothe. 
Cleek, to snatch : ' cleek the sterlin ' = pinch 

the ready. 
Cleekit, took hold : ' they cross'd, they cleekit.' 
Cleg^ gadfly : ' the clegs o' feeling stang.' 



392 



GLOSSARY. 



Clink, (i) a sharp stroke : ' her doup a 

clink ' ; (2) jingle : ' o' rhymin clink.' 
Clink, (i) money, coin: * o' needfu' clink'; 

(2) wealth: 'the name o' clink.' 
Cli7ik, to chink : ' he '11 clink in the hand.' 
Clbik, to rhyme : ' mak it clink,' ' gar them 

clink.' 
Clinkift, with a smart motion : • clinkin' 
down beside him.' 

Cli?iku?n, Clinkiwibell, the beadle, the bell- 
man: ' auld Ciinkum at the inner port,' 
'Clinkumbell, wi' rattlin tow.' 

Clips, shears : ' ne'er cross'd the clips.' 

Clish-ma-claver, (i) gossip, tale-telHng: 
' for a' their clish-ma-claver ' ; (2) non- 
sense, idle talk : * what farther clish-ma- 
claver might been said.' 

Clockin-time, clucking- [== hatching-] time: 
' the clockin-time is by.' 

Cloot, the hoof in general, the half of the 
cloven hoof: 'upon her cloot she coost a 
hitch,' ' an' wear his cloots.' 

Clootie, Cloots, Hoofie, Hoofs [a nickname 
of the Devil] : ' Auld Cloots,' ' Nick or 
Clootie,' 'auld Cloven-Clootie's haunts.' 

Clour, a bump or swelling after a blow (R. 
B.) : ' clours an' nicks.' 

Clout, (i) a cloth, a rag: 'wi' lies seam'd 
like a beggar's clout ' ; (2) a patch : ' per- 
haps a clout may fail in 't.' See also 
Babie-clout. 

Clout, to patch : ' clout the cauldron,' ' clout 
the bad girdin o 't,' ' reft and clouted,' 
' cloutin a kettle.' 

Clud, a cloud. 

Clunky to make a hollow sound : ' made 
the bottle clunk.' 

Coatie, dim. oi coat. 

Coble, a broad and flat boat : ' wintle like a 
saumont-coble.' 

Cock, the mark [in curling] : * station at the 
cock.' 

Cockie, dim. of cock [applied to an old 
man] : ' my guid auld cockie.' 

Cocks, fellows, good fellows : ' my hearty 
cocks,' ' the wale o' cocks.' 

Cod, a pillow: 'a cod she laid below my 
head,' ' the cradle wants a cod.' 

Co/i, bought : ' coft for her wee Nannie,* ' I 
coft a stane o' haslock woo/ 'that coft 
enjoyment.' 

Co^, (i) a wooden drinking-vessel : 'in 



cogs an' caups,' * in cog or bicker,' ' cog 
an' ye were ay fou,' ' a cog o' guid swats ' ; 

(2) a porridge-dish : ' their cogs o' brose ' ; 

(3) a corn measure for horses : ' thy cog 
a wee bit heap.* 

Coggie, dim. of cog, 3. little dish. 

Coil, Coila, Kyle [one of the ancient dis- 
tricts of Ayrshire]. 

Collie, (i) a general, and sometimes a par- 
ticular, name for couTitry curs (R. B.) ; 
(2) a sheep-dog : ' a ploughman's collie.' 

Collieshangie, a squabble: 'or how the 
collieshangie works.' 

Cood, cud. 

Coof, v. Cuif, 

Cookin, cooking. 

Cookit, hid : ' cookit underneath the braes.' 

Coor, cover: ' coor their fuds.' 

Cooser, a courser, a stallion : ' a perfect 
kintra cooser.* 

Coost [i.e. cast], (i) looped : ' coost a hitch ' ; 
(2) threw off: 'coost their claes,* 'coost 
her duddies ' ; (3) tossed: ' Maggie coost 
her head*; (4) chucked: 'coost it in a 
corner.' 

Cootie, a small pail : ' the brunstane cootie.' 

Cootie, leg-plumed : ' cootie moorcocks.' 

Corbies, ravens, crows : * corbies and clergy.* 

Core, corps. 

Corn mou, corn heap : * commend me to the 
corn mou.' 

Corn't, fed with corn : ' thou was corn't.* 

Corse, corpse : ' the pale corse on the plain.' 

Corss, cross : ' Mauchline Corss.* 

Cou'dna, couldna, could n*t. 

Countra, country. 

Coup, to capsize : ' coup the cran ' = upset 
the pot. 

Couthie, couthy, (i) loving: 'couthie For- 
tune ' ; (2) affable : ' fu' couthy and sweet.' 

Couthie, comfortably : ' kindle couthie, side 
by side.* 

Cowe, to scare, to daunt : * cowe the cadie,' 
'cowe the louns,* 'cowe the blellums,' 
' cowe the lairds,* ' cowe the rebel genera- 
tion.' 

Cowe, to crop : * cowe her measure shorter.' 

Crack, (i) tale : ' tell your crack * ; (2) a chat : 
' a hearty crack,' ' ca' the crack ' = have a 
chat ; (3) talk : ' hear your crack,' ' for 
crack that day.' 

Crack, to chat, to talk : * the father cracks 



GLOSSARY. 



393 



of horses,' ' wha will crack to me my 
lane.' 
Crackin, conversing : ' crackin crouse.' 
Cracks, (i) stories: 'cracks and cants'; 
(2) conversation: 'gashing at their 
cracks,' ' an' friendly cracks.' 
Craft, croft. 
Craft-rig, croft-ridge. 

Craig, the throat : ' that nicket Abel's craig.' 
Craig, a crag. 
Craigie, dim. of craig, the throat : ' weet my 

craigie,' ' thy bonie craigie.' 
Craigy, craggy. 

Craik, the corn-crake, the land-rail: 'the 
craik amang the clover hay,' ' mourn 
clam'ring craiks, at close o' day.' 
CranibO'Cli?ik, rhyme : ' live by crambo- 
clink.' 
Crainbo-j ingle, rhyming : ' I to the crambo- 
jingle fell.' 
Cra)i, the support for a pot or kettle : ' coup 

the cran.' 
Crankous, fretful : ' in crankous mood.' 
Cranks, creakings : ' what tuneless cranks.' 
Cranreuch, hoar-frost, rime: ' cranreuch 

cauld,' ' hoary cranreuch drest.' 
Crjp, crop. 

Crap, to crop : ' that crap the heather bud.' 
Craps, (i) crops: 'his craps and kye,' 
(2) tops : • craps o' heather ' = heather- 
tops. 
Craw, crow. 

Creel, an osier basket : ' my senses wad be 
in a creel ' = I would be perplexed, ' in 
Death's fish-creel,' ' nieves, like midden- 
creels.' 
Creepie-chair, stool of repentance : ' mount 
the creepie-chair.' See also Cutty- 
stools. 
Creeshie, greasy. 

Crocks, old ewes : ' tent the waifs an' crocks.' 
Cronie, intimate friend. 
Crooded, cooed: 'a cushat crooded o'er 

me.' 
Croods, coos : ' the cushat croods.' 
Croo7i, (i) moan : ' wi' eldritch croon ' ; (2) a 
low: 'an outler quey gat up an' gae a 
croon,' (3) note : ' the melancholious 
croon,' ' melanchohous, sairie croon.' 
Croon, to toll: ' jow an' croon.' 
Croo7id, hummed: ' croon'd his gamut.' 
Crooning, humming : ' crooning to a body's 



sel,' ' crooning o'er some auld Scots son- 
net.' 
Croose, crouse, (i) cocksure: 'keen an' 
croose ' ; (2) set : ' when I grow crouse ' ; 
(3) proud: 'crouse and canty.' 
Crouchie, hunchbacked : ' crouchie Merran 

Humphie.' 
Crouse, cheerfully: 'crackin crouse.' V. 

Croose. 
Crousely, confidently : ' crousely craw.' 
Crowdie, meal and cold water, meal and 
milk, porridge: 'wi' crowdie unto me,' 
' ance crowdie, twice crowdie,' etc. 
Crowdie-time, porridge-time [i.e. breakfast- 
time] . 
Crowlin, crawling: 'ye crowlin ferlie.' 
Crummie, a horned cow : ' auld Crummie's 

nicks.' 
Crummock, c2i?n7nock, a cudgel, a crooked 
staff [cf. the Gaelic or Welsh cam or 
C2i?n = the crook of a stick, and ca??ion = 
Irish hockey] : ' louping and flinging on 
a crummock,' ' on a cummock driddle.' 
Crtimp, crisp : ' farls . . . fu' crump.' 
Cricnt, a blow : ' wi' hearty crunt.' 
Cuddle, to fondle: 'bairns' bairns kindly 

cuddle,' ' cuddle my kimmer.' 
CuddVd, fondled: ' cuddl'd me late and 

early.' 
Ctiif coof (i) a dolt, a ninny, a weakling: 
' fumbUng cuifs,' ' blockhead, coof,' ' coofs 
on countless thousands rant,' 'cuifs o' 
later times,' 'a wealthy coof,' ' a coof . . . 
wi' routh o' gear,' ' he's but a cuif,' ' will 
be nae coof; (2) a dastard: 'a cuif like 
him.' 
Cununock, v. Crummock. 
Curch, a kerchief for the head : ' her curch 

sae clean,' ' I tint my curch.' 
Curchie, a curtsy: 'wi' a curchie low did 

stoop.' 
Curler, one who plays at curling [a game 
on the ice] : ' the curlers quat their roar- 
ing play,' • to the loughs the curlers 
flock.' 
Curmurri72g, commotion : ' curmurring in 

his guts.' 
Cur pin, the crupper of a horse: ' haurls at 

his curpin.' 
Curple, the crupper \i.e, buttocks] : 'hingin 

owTC my curple.' 
Cushat, the wood pigeon. 



394 



GLOSSARY. 



Oistock, the pith of the colewort : ' gif the 
custock's sweet or sour.' 

6«/d?j, feet [properly of an animal] : ankles': 
' her bonie cutes sae sma'.' 

Cutty, short: 'cutty sark,' 'cutty sarks.* 

Cutty-stools, stools of repentance : ' daft bar- 
gains, cutty-stools.' 

Dad, dadctie, father. 

Daezt, dazed. 

Baffin, larking, fun : ' to spend an hour in 

daffin,' 'fits o* daffin/ ' towsing a lass i' 

my daffin.' 
Daft, mad, foolish. 
Bails, planks : ' some carryin dails.' 
Dahnen icker, an odd ear of corn : ' a 

daimen icker in a thrave.* 
Dayn, pent up water, urine: 'ye tine your 

dam.' 
Dafnie, dim. of da?ne. 
Dang, dung [pret. of ding]. 
Dantofi, V. Daunton. 
Darena, dare not. 
Darg, labor, task, a day's labor : ' nought 

but his han' darg,' ' monie a sair darg.' 
DarkUns, in the dark : ' an' darklins grapit 

for the banks.* 
Daud, to pelt : ' set the bairns to daud her,* 

• the bitter, daudin showers.' 
Daunton, to daunt. 
Daur, dare. 
Daurna, dare not. 
Daurt, dared. 
Daut, dawte, to fondle, to pet: ' I kiss and 

daut thee,' ' kiss and dawte.' 
Dautet, dawtit, petted : 'unco muckle 

dautet,* ' dawtit twal-pint hawkie.' 
Daw, to dawn : ' the day may daw.' 
Dawds, lumps, large portions : ' an' dawds 

that day.' 
Dawing, dawning. 
Dawtingly, pettingly, caressingly ; ' dawt- 

ingly did cheer me.* 
Dead-sweer, extremely reluctant. 
Dearie, dim. of dear. 
Deave, to deafen. 
Deevil, v. DeiL 
Dell, devil. 
Deil'haet (i) nothing [Devil have it] : 

' the deil-haet ails them ' ; (2) Devil 

have my soul : * the devil-haet that I 

sud ban.' 



Deil-ma-care, no matter [the Devil may 

care, but not I]. 
Deleeret, delirious, mad : ' an' liv'd an' died 

deleeret.* 
Delvin, digging: * dubs of your ain delvin.' 
Derfi'd, hid [from the Old Eng. dear?i or 

dern : ' that dern time,' Craig's Oxford 

Shak. King Lear, iii. i. 62] : ' dern'd in 

dens and hollows.' 
Descrive, to describe. 
Deuk 'j-, the duck has : ' The Deuk 's Dang 

O'er My Daddie.' 
Deuks, ducks : ' your deuks and geese.' 
Devel, a stunning blow : ' an unco devel.' 
Diddle, to move quickly [of fiddling] : 

' elbuck jink an' diddle.' 
Diglit, to wipe. 
Dight, wannowed, sifted : ' the cleanest corn 

that e'er was dight.' 
Din, dun, muddy of complexion : ' dour and 

din.* 
Diftg, to beat, to surpass. 
Ding, be beaten or upset : ' facts are chiels 

that winna ding.* 
Dink, trim : ' my lady's dink, my lady's 

drest.* 
Dinna, do not. 
Dirl, to vibrate, to ring : ' played dirl ' = 

went tinkle, ' roof and rafters a' did dirl/ 

* she dirl'd them aff fu' clearly.' 
Diz^n, dizzen, dozen. 
Dochter, daughter. 
Doggie, dim. oi dog. 
Doited, (i) muddled: 'doited Lear,* 'a 

doited monkish race,' ' my very senses 

doited ' ; (2) stupid, bewildered : ' doited 

stots,' 'the doited beastie stammers,' 'sae 

doited and blin'.' 
Donsie, (i) vicious, bad-tempered: 'ye 

ne'er was donsie ' ; (2) restive : ' their 

donsie tricks * ; (3) testy : ' ye wad na been 

sae donsie, O.' 
Dool, (i) woe: 'sing dool,* 'may dool and 

sorrow be his lot,' * O, dool on the day ' ; 

(2) sorrow: 'to sit in dool,' 'bitter in 
dool,' ' care and dool,' ' dool and care*; 

(3) ' dool to tell ' = sad to tell. 
Doolfu', doleful, woful: 'doolfu' clamour,' 

' the doolfu' tale.* 
Dorty, pettish : ' tho' a minister grow dorty.* 
Douce, douse, sedate, sober, serious, pru- 
dent : ' douce honest woman,' * O ye douce 



GLOSSARY. 



395 



folk.' ' douce or merry tale,' ' douce con- 
veners,' ' douce folk,' 'tlirifty citizens an' 
douce,' ' douce Wisdom's door,' ' for ye 
sae douce,' ' sae cursed douce.' 

Douce, douce ly, dousely, (i) sedately : ' douce 
hingin owre my curple ' ; (2) prudently : 
' doucely manage our affairs,' ' doucely 
fill a thi one.' 

Doudrd, dandled : * doudl'd me up on his 
knee.' 

Dought [pret. of dow\ could : ' as lang 's he 
dought,' ' do what I dought,' ' dought na 
bear us.' 

Douked, ducked : ' in monie a well been 
douked.' 

Doup, the bottom. 

Doup-skelper, bottom-smacker: ' vile doup- 
skelper. Emperor Joseph.' 

Dour, doure, (i) stubborn, obstinate: 
' teughly doure,* 'the tither's dour,' 'and 
Sackville doure,' * dour and din'; 
(2) cutting : ' fell and doure.' 

Douse, V. Douce. 

Douser, sedater : ' oughtlins doucer,' 

Dow, dowe, am [is or are] able, can: 'the 
best they dow,' ' dow but hoyte and hob- 
ble,' * as lang *s I dow,' ' dow scarcely 
spread her wing,' ' hirples twa-fold as he 
dow,' ' dow nocht but glow'r.' 

Dow, a dove, a pigeon: ' like frighted dews, 
man.' 

Dowf, dowff, dull: 'her dowff excuses,' 
' dowff an' dowilie,' ' dowf and weary.* 

Dowie, drooping, mournful : ' our Bardie, 
dowie,' ' dowie, stiff and crazy,' ' dowie 
she saunters,' ' I wander dowie up the 
glen,' ' some that are dowie.' 

Do7vie, mournfully: 'his sad complaining 
dowie raves.* 

Dowilie, drooping : ' dowff and dowilie they 
creep.* 

Downa, cannot. 

Douma-do, cannot-do. 

Doylt, stupid, stupefied: ' doylt, drucken 
hash,' ' he 's doylt and he 's dozin.' 

Doytin, doddering : ' cam doytin by.' 

Dozen d, torpid : ' dearest member nearly 
dozen'd.' 

Dozin, torpid : ' he 's doylt and he 's dozin.* 

Draigl't, draggled. 

Drants, prosings : ' to wait on their drants.' 

Drop, drop. 



Drappie^ dim. oi drop. 

Draunting, tedious : ' draunting drivel.' 

Dree, (i) endure: ' dree the kintra clatter'; 

(2) suffer: 'the pangs I dree.' 
Dreigli, v. Driegh. 

Dribble, drizzle : ' the winter's sleety dribble.' 

Driddle, to toddle : ' us'd to trystes an' fairs 
to driddle,' ' on a cummock driddle.' 

Driegh, tedious, dull: 'stable-meals . . . 
were driegh,' ' the moor was dreigh.' 

Droddum, xhQhreech : ' dress your droddum.* 

Drone, part of the bagpipe. 

Droop - ru7?ipl't, short - rumped . ' droop- 
rumpl't cattle.* 

Drouk, to wet, to drench : ' to drouk the 
stourie tow.* 

Droukit, wetted, soaked : * my droukit sark- 
sleeve.* 

Drouth, thirst: * Scotland*s drouth,' 'their 
hydra drouth,' ' holy drouth.' 

Drouthy, thirsty : ' drouthy neebors,' ' drouthy 
cronie.* 

Druke?i, drucken, drunken. 

Dru?nlie, (i) muddy: ' drumlie German- 
water,' ' the drumlie Dutch ' ; (2) turbid : 
'drumlie wave,' ' waters never drumlie'; 

(3) dull: ' drumlie winter.' 
L>rufnmock, X2C\\ meal and cold water: *a 

bellyfu' o' drummock.' 

Drunt, the huff: ' took the drunt.* 

Dry, thirsty : ' confoundedly dry,' ' a' dry wi' 
drinken o't.* 

Dry, dryly : * answer him fu' dry.' 

Dub, puddle, slush : ' thro' dub' and mire/ 
'thro' dirt and dub.' 

Dub, a puddle : ' gumlie dubs,' ' the burning 
dub.' 

Duddie, ragged : ' tho' e'er sae duddie,* ' dud- 
die weans,' ' duddie boy,' ' duddie, des- 
perate beggar.' 

Duddies, dim. of duds, rags : ' co